SFHS Smells “Something Rotten!” in the Performing Arts Center
March 19, 2021
Over the past two weekends at South Forsyth High School, the SFHS Performing Arts program put on a production of the 2015 Broadway musical “Something Rotten!”. The light-hearted comedy brought smiles and laughter into the Performing Arts Center all while the diligent cast and crew worked hard to navigate through their spring production amidst the global pandemic and CDC guidelines.
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Set in 1595, the Broadway musical “Something Rotten!” by Karey Kirkpatrick follows the story of the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, as they navigate the world of theatre and attempt to compete with their rival, William Shakespeare, to make the next big thing. A minstrel acts as the narrator and helps the audience follow along and understand the Bottom brothers’ schemes. After a soothsayer tells them that the future of theatre is musicals, the brothers embark on a journey to write the first musical while upbeat songs and tap dance numbers accompanied them.
After the program’s overwhelming success during their winter production of “Oklahoma!” the performers of South rolled into their spring production only two months after their delayed winter show. However, the talented members managed to put together their comical take on the Broadway show “Something Rotten!” after not only having their winter show pushed back, but also having their 2020 spring production of “Sweeney Todd” canceled due to COVID-19. But fortunately, the show must go on; and thankfully, there were no delays or cancellations of the “Something Rotten!” production.
Senior Kailey Tufts, who was the Dance Captian of the production exclaimed, “It was a really different experience because we had to work around new obstacles such as social distancing and masks. It was also difficult as a Dance Captain because our choreographer couldn’t come in person, so we had to teach ourselves the choreography at home over videos.”
Additionally, the cast and crew made a few alterations to the show in order to abide by CDC guidelines. The most obvious example of this is that the performers wore masks throughout the entire show. This drastic change to performing made the cast rethink how to convey emotion with the obstacle of using only the top half of their faces. Nonetheless, the performers managed to display their joy, laughter, sadness–all through their body language. Furthermore, the show had plenty of on-stage romance between the characters Nick and Bea Bottom and Nigel and Portia. But due to social distancing and wearing masks, the Minstrel came out for every “kissing” scene and held out a sign that read: “They Kiss” to not only draw out laughter from the audience, but it was also an effective way of avoiding the more intimate scenes. Also, this year the production created a virtual Playbill for the show instead of having physical copies like previous shows. They had QR codes throughout the auditorium with not only the virtual Playbill, but also with a Powerpoint of all the cast and crew members.
“My favorite part about ‘Something Rotten!’ was the tap section in the song ‘Make an Omelette’,” Junior Poom Punmaneeluk who played Robin enthused, “The choreography was very well done by our choreographer and our tap dancers were able to make very satisfying to watch and listen to.”
Despite the various challenges the theatre department has faced this year, they’ve managed to make “Something Rotten!” a phenomenal success. The production was not only enjoyable for audiences, but also for the cast and crew. The cast and crew all put so much effort into the show and it really showed. Click here to view pictures of the show!