27 Jan Something Rotten! Cast Interviews
Now you’ve met some of the Something Rotten! cast in our previous blog post. How about you learn a little more about some of them.
We interviewed Justin Wilcox (Nick Bottom), Randy Brenner (Nostradamus), Brittany Anderson (Bea) and Bella Gil (Portia) on all things Something Rotten!, what it’s like to finally getting back into live theatre, and why life our of the Renaissance is much more appealing…we hope!
Q. What’s your favorite thing about “Something Rotten!”?
Randy: As far as the show is concerned, the first time I saw the show, I thought it was literally one of the funniest shows I’ve even seen. I just think we need that today. When I saw it on Broadway, I thought, one day I hope I get to do this show because it looks like it’s a blast to do! Everybody is having so much fun on stage. I love that the show is just really funny, and if you’re at all musical theatre oriented or even just theatre oriented; there are so many things in the show that are referenced in such a clever way that it makes it that much funnier.
Justin: I’ve been tracking this show for awhile, and ever since the first time I saw it, I’ve been thinking “God I hope I get it!” Honestly it’s been a whirlwind of choreography and scenes and so much and it’s jam packed with humor. My favorite part is crying laughing with these idiots in rehearsals! You know it’s funny when you’re watching a scene multiple times while we rehearse it and we’re still cracking up and laughing about it. My favorite thing is digging in and finding “the funny” with all of these very talented people, and it’s a joy to be acting with people instead of a ring light. I’m really happy with it.
Q: What parts of the Renaissance are you glad that you don’t really have to deal with on stage?
Brittany: Women being able to perform! I know it wasn’t allowed back then, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that today because it’s what I love and I’m passionate about. I’m grateful I don’t have to deal with that for sure!
Randy: I was going to say disease but I can’t really say that now can I? (Laughs) How about plumbing? I’m grateful for that!
Q: Is it exciting to be back to doing live theatre finally?
Brittany: I was in a production right before the Pandemic hit, and luckily we were able to close. Once the Pandemic hit, we didn’t know how long it was going to be until we would be able to be back onstage or to be back auditioning in person. With self tapes, it’s great to have the opportunity to be seen and be in front of people, but there’s nothing like being in the room and getting to interact with real people. Getting feedback and getting to try things again in the room, and also just now that we’re here back in a room with people again, it’s such a joy to be working with such talented artists and getting to laugh again and to just make art! It’s a step outside this crazy time where now we can all be and have a great time.
Bella: I’m so excited about it! This is my first production since early 2020, and so it feels like it’s been so long but also like it was just yesterday that I was rehearsing for shows in 2019 prior to the Pandemic. It’s just such a wonderful feeling to be able to perform again especially with such a funny role and a funny show. Bringing out that joy and rehearsing a show that’s going to make people laugh and have fun; I’m so happy to be doing this!
Q: Is there anything specifically that you get to do in “Something Rotten” that is new and exciting for you, or something that you love to do but haven’t been able to do for a while in a show?
Randy: I was doing a workshop in New York with the guy who originated my role of Nostradamus, named Brad Oscar. He said I should come see the show, and I had heard it was good. I went to see it, and when I saw him in the role, he was just brilliant; but the other little thought in my head was “oh my God…I hope one day I get to do this role because it is right in my wheelhouse and it looks like so much fun.!” Now, for me to be able to do my musical number, because I do absolutely everything in it; it’s a hard number and it’s a blast! I don’t think I’ve had this much fun or looked forward to doing a number as much as “A Musical.” It’s a bucket list thing that I wanted to tick off. So it’s exciting!
Justin: I am very introverted and quiet. (laughs) I’ve been chasing this one for a while. I’ve been before on Broadway for ensemble stuff or for covers, and Nick has always been cast, so I’ve been in to play Shakespeare and it’s never been the right fit. So, I was grateful that this was available to do since it’s been on my bucket list for sure. It’s been a while since I’ve had to dance so much in a show and tap at the same time, and these ole feet don’t work like they usta. (laughs) I like digging in to that classic musical theatre in this show where it’s like “42nd Street” and the curtain just goes up enough to see the dancing feet, and hear the sound as the roll goes through, with the music building. I haven’t been able to do that in a long time, and I haven’t been able to be in a cast this big of tapping feet and bozos. To be able to do it all in a show that has musical comedy, tap dancing, lots of other funny choreography by the phenomenal Michelle. This show also sneaks up on you and has a deep sense of heart and longing and it’s about two brothers who are wanting to create something. They keep going despite all of the obstacles in their way and it’s about creating art. It feels so good!
Q: If you had to say something to prepare the audience for seeing “Something Rotten” what would it be?
Randy: Be prepared to laugh your ass off, have a really great time at the theatre and to be moved too!
Justin: I laughed, I cried, it was better than “Cats!” Go to the bathroom before and wear your mask at all times. Come ready for a good time, because you need it. You’re going to come and sit down and when you walk away you’re going to be so happy you saw the show!
Bella: Get ready for all of the musical references and think of all of the shows you know. Maybe do a look through of musicals and do your homework so when things come up on stage you recognize them!