A Shakespearean set musical following the creation of the world’s first musical is set to take the Renaissance Stage with its opening weekend March 4 and 5 and second weekend March 11 and 12.

When playwriting brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, are overshadowed by the rockstar of the Renaissance, William Shakespeare, they set out to break new ground by writing the very first musical comedy. What follows is a laugh-out-loud comedic tour-de-force, in the style of Monty Python’s Spamalot, Avenue Q, and The Book of Mormon. The ingenious Bottom brothers concoct a story that includes giant dancing eggs, a kickline of Grim Reapers, partying Puritans, and the funniest cast of characters in what critics call “The funniest musical of the decade!” A hit on Broadway, Something Rotten was nominated for an incredible TEN Tony Awards. 

Directed by Michael Thomas and musically directed by Kelly Knowlton, Something Rotten features performances by Beau Roberts (Nostradamus), Leah Gesouras (Bea Bottom), Robert Hardin-Leeth (Brother Jeremiah) and guest artists Ryan Citrino (who starred in last season’s acclaimed “Once) as Nick Bottom and Lukas Chaviano as his brother Nigel. Sam Woodill returns to our stage as Portia and Ryan Kopycinski appears as Lord Clapham. Tutor costumes were created by Linda Turske, with set design by Jason Kaufman, lighting and sound design by Aaron Nicolas, and original choreography by former Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace Williams.

“Thanks to an amazing cast and this hilarious material, our rehearsals have been nonstop laughter from beginning to end,” said Director Michael Thomas. “ This is one of the funniest collections of actors ever to grace our stage. It’s pure entertainment from beginning to end, and this team is absolutely first-rate. If you love comedy combined with some of the most hilarious songs and dances you’ve ever seen, then Something Rotten is the perfect show to get you out of the winter doldrums.”

The star-studded cast is filled with local favorites and Mansfield first-time performers. Ryan Citrino (Nick Bottom) last appeared as Jimmy in Theatre 166’s beautiful production of Once. Lukas Chaviano (Nigel Bottom) joins us from sunny Florida where he appeared in Assassins, Welcome to Margaritaville, and Legally Blonde. Leah Gesouras most recently appeared on the Ren stage as Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, and as Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act. Sam Woodill may be best remembered as Penny from Hairspray, Ruby from Young and Unsullied, and the Ren’s production of Spring Awakening. Beau Roberts has appeared many times on the Ren’s stages, including Assassins, Sister Act, Hairspray, The Sound of Music, and Mamma Mia. Robert Hardin-Leeth, (Brother Jeremiah) will be remembered as Edna in Hairspray, Eulalie McKechnie Shinn in The Music Man, and Monsignor O’Hara in Sister Act.

Bring your friends for a night of laughter at the Renaissance Theatre. Something Rotten! Premieres Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 PM with additional performances Sunday, March 5 at 2:30 PM, Saturday, March 11 at 8 PM, and closes Sunday, March 12 at 2:30 PM at the Renaissance Theatre, 138 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Renaissance box office, by phone at 419-522-2726, or by visiting the Ren’s website: rentickets.org.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association