The Pace Drama Club performed the show “Something Rotten” on Apr. 20 through 22 with the Director of Fine Arts Sean Bryan as the musical director. Mr. Bryan explained, “The play is a comedy that takes place in the Elizabethan age, and it’s really an homage to musical theater. There are a lot of musical theater easter eggs and references in the show, and I challenge people to try to find them.” There are many references to Shakespeare throughout the play, as well as Shakespeare actually appearing as a character in the show played by Jack Schmitt. Many Pace students will understand these references from their readings in English class. The “to be or not to be” soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Hamlet was featured in this show, and students who took Dean of Students Erica Barbakow’s sophomore English class last year would remember it from having to memorize it.
Mr. Bryan explained that “Shakespeare during that time is considered a rockstar as if he is the modern-day Taylor Swift or Drake,” but we soon learn from Nick Bottom that “he is actually just stealing everything too.”
This is a hilarious show that follows two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, who are played by Jackson Allegra and Jordan Loughran respectively, on their journey to find a new show to perform. Although the show uses a lot of modern language, it is set in the 16th century.
This show is very understandable for people who have read Shakespeare, but Mr. Bryan says that “it is a comedy that is really about finding your voice, being yourself, and being true to who you are.” This is a message that anyone would be able to pick up from watching this musical.
The cast of the show had obvious chemistry with each other. Mr. Bryan says “It’s very similar to a sport in a way, where ninth graders are hanging out with eleventh and twelfth graders. We can blur the lines between which grade someone is in, and we all become a community of drama students.” Mr. Bryan continued by saying, “This community blends even with our tech crew. Daniel Owens and Jackson Gant work backstage, but they are also an active part of the ensemble.”
Junior Hannah White played Bea, who is Nick Bottom’s wife, in this show. Hannah says “Being in this show has been such an amazing experience. I love playing comedic characters, and Bea was a perfect role for that. The best part, however, has been getting to spend time in a community that I know always has my back.”
Freshman Bennett Cummings was part of the ensemble in the show, and he said “Being the only freshman has had its strengths and weaknesses, but all I know is that I’ve learned so many new skills that I can apply to the rest of my Pace experience.” The ensemble played a huge role in the show. Sophomore Nailah Beachem, who was also part of the ensemble, had a scene where she played the grim reaper to act out the Black Death. Also, while the Bottoms were having their new play performed, the entire ensemble came out in hilarious egg costumes because the play was “Omelet” instead of “Hamlet”.
It was easy to tell that the cast and crew had been working on this show for a long time, because everyone acted, sang, and danced incredibly. Another amazing aspect of the show was the very intricate set, which consisted of a rotating model of the Globe Theater that changed to show if they were inside or outside during the show.