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‘Something Rotten!’ Opening Earns Mid-Show Standing O

What’s better than a standing ovation at the end of a Broadway show? A standing ovation halfway through the first act.

Just ask the cast of musical comedy “Something Rotten!” The crowd stood and cheered after signature showstopper “A Musical” during the April 22 opening. That could have been a one-off attributable to insider enthusiasm, but not so: The number earns that reaction a lot of nights.

“It’s something,” said Brian d’Arcy James, who stars in “Something Rotten!” alongside fellow “Smash” cast member Christian Borle. “It happens a lot. It’s helpful I’ve got a really good line to deliver right after.”

At the post-opening party at Tavern on the Green, songwriter-musician Wayne Kirkpatrick and his brother, screenwriter-director Karey Kirkpatrick, reminisced about when they first approached producer Kevin McCollum about the idea for their gleefully anachronistic Renaissance comedy. It was all the way back at the tech rehearsal of 1996 musical “Rent.”

McCollum — who went on to produce shows including “Avenue Q” and “Motown” — and Karey Kirkpatrick knew each other because they’d once been performers together at Disney World. “I said to Kevin, ‘We have this idea for a musical,'” Karey said. “He said, ‘Great.’ But it took a while.”

The Kirkpatricks sold screenwriter John O’Farrell, who’d worked with Karey Kirkpatrick on “Chicken Run,” on the project too.

“I said, ‘Great idea,'” O’Farrell remembered. “It’ll never get to Broadway, but let’s give it a shot.”

 

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