This week, I’ve looked at a few well establishes, slightly older musical adaptations. And by slightly, I mean close to 70 years older in the case of Kiss Me Kate, which had its Broadway debut in 1948.
So for the last blog on adaptations of Shakespeare this week, I thought I would recommend something a bit more recent. Actually, very recent, as in it premiered 6 months ago, recent.
This adaptation is slightly different in nature to the others mentioned this week. While it features references and in-jokes related to the plays, it’s less an adaptation of Shakespeare’s work and more his life. And, in this version of history, he is a rock star. In case you couldn’t tell from the above clip. Or the below gif.
Christian Borle plays up the ‘Will Power’ factor, earning himself the Tony award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the role of Shakespeare. It’s always good to see some new writing on Broadway, and this along with Hamilton and Finding Neverland are three new musicals this season which are based on real people and at least semi-biographical. And, of course, Something Rotten! is a completely faithful musical retelling of Shakespeare’s life. Totally legit. Including how he wrote
Rumour has it that this production will be transferring to the West End. Which, if it does, I demand does at least one performance at Shakespeare’s Globe! The only other recent Shakespeare themed musical to play in the West End is Return to the Forbidden Planet, which it took me until now to remember I’ve seen because although it was full of lines from the plays, it just didn’t impress me live (although that was largely due to a lackluster matinee audience). I haven’t seen Something Rotten! yet, but it was the first thing I booked to see for my New York trip at Christmas. Literally, before I’d booked the hotel! So I can’t wait to see it live, and if it sounds like the show for you too, it’s booking now through to 2016. And who wouldn’t want to see it: it’s Shakespeare+singing…and IT’S A MUSICAL, A MUSICAL, AND NOTHING’S AS AMAZING AS A MUSICAL!