The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday May 20th

TCNJ Musical Theatre presents ‘Something Rotten!’

<p><em>The cast of “Something Rotten!” (Photo by Mckenna Super) </em></p>

The cast of “Something Rotten!” (Photo by Mckenna Super)

By Maia Venuti
Staff Writer

TCNJ Musical Theatre presented its mainstage musical “Something Rotten!” for the spring semester. The show is a satirical take on Shakespeare, telling the story of two brothers struggling to make it big in the theatre world while being in competition with William Shakespeare. There were four shows, starting on Thursday, Feb. 29 and continuing through Saturday, March 2.

Starting the first week of January, the cast began rehearsing and memorizing the many songs, dances and scenes that make up the two hour musical. On top of that, the cast had to perfect the multitude of jokes that make up this show, mastering comedic timing and line delivery.

The cast told the story incredibly well; they had a bright and cohesive sound in the full cast songs, and their energy as a group was nothing short of electric. 

Without a doubt, the most impressive aspect of this show was the dancing. “Something Rotten!” is a very dance-heavy show, with numerous fast-paced, intense tap numbers throughout. Seeing the entire cast break out into tap dance was absolutely jaw dropping. The audience was blown away by the dancing, with there being multiple standing ovations at the last show, and the audience roaring with applause. 

According to Aidan Hulse, who played Nigel Bottom in the show, “almost all of [the cast] had never tapped before” and were new to this genre of dance. Starting over winter break, the cast slowly and meticulously learned how to tap dance and overcame the hurdles and challenges that came with it. This experience of learning something new and difficult inevitably led to the cast becoming close, and being able to “grow and support each other” throughout the learning process. 

All of the leads in the show did a fantastic job in their respective roles, as it felt like the roles were made specifically for each person. The leads had incredible singing voices and stage presence, commanding the space around them. Everyone was so funny, and it felt like the jokes they were making were authentic conversation and not lines in a play. 

The set was also really efficient and versatile in its design, while also being minimal but still incredibly detailed. Rather than having one large, stationary set that stays the same throughout the whole show, there were multiple set pieces that would rotate to change the setting, and would move across the stage to change the layout of the stage. This show has several different settings throughout, and it was really clever how they utilized the space and did an excellent job at creating quick scenery transitions as well as differentiating each location with this set design. 

Overall, TMT’s production of “Something Rotten!” was absolutely amazing and such a fun watch. My hands hurt from clapping and my mouth hurt from smiling for the show’s entire runtime. Everybody worked so hard, and that hard work paid off in the end, because this show was absolutely incredible.


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