If you go
› What: “Something Rotten”
› Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12
› Admission: $37, $52, $67 and $77
› For more information: 423-757-5580
The national tour of "Something Rotten" — the hilarious Broadway musical that was nominated in 2015 for 10 Tony Awards, eight Drama Desk Awards and one Grammy — stops in the Tivoli Theatre for three performances this weekend, Jan. 11-12. The book and lyrics in this musical farce shoot a few barbs at The Bard, spoof the Renaissance and even poke some fun at other well-known musicals.
Set in 1595, the story follows brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, two aspiring playwrights living in the shadow of their peer, William Shakespeare, who is portrayed as the equivalent of a Renaissance rock star.
Desperate to upstage Shakespeare, Nick seeks help from Nostradamus — not the famous soothsayer, but his not-so-famous nephew. When Nick asks him to predict the next big thing in theater, Nostradamus foresees it will be "a musical," a play in which "an actor is saying his lines, and out of nowhere just starts singing."
Nick thinks that is ridiculous, but is on board, and the Bottom brothers set out to write the world's first musical.
Nick returns to Nostradamus a second time, asking what Shakespeare's new hit will be.
Nostradamus foresees "Hamlet," but misinterprets it as "Omelette" — among other mistakes such as the Prince eats a Danish pastry rather than being a Danish prince.
This tip leads Nick to dream of a time when crowds cheer him and his brother and even Shakespeare bows to their success, leading to the production number "Bottom's Gonna Be on Top."
What happens when the Bottoms reveal their new show, "Something Rotten," leads to laughs and love by the final curtain. And along the way the audience will be entertained with musical numbers such as "Welcome to the Renaissance," "God, I Hate Shakespeare," "Will Power," "It's Eggs!" and "To Thine Own Self."
The national tour's cast is led by Matthew Baker as Shakespeare, Matthew Janisse as Nick Bottom and Richard Spitaletta as Nigel Bottom.
Greg Kalafatas plays Nostradamus, Emily Kristen Morris is Bea, Nick's wife, and Jennifer Elizabeth Smith is Portia, Nigel's love.