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Shenandoah Conservatory Announces U.S. University Premiere of “Something Rotten!”

Shenandoah University is pleased to announce the U.S. university premiere of the musical “Something Rotten!” The Tony Award-winning musical opened on Broadway in 2015 and has already completed two major tours.

“Something Rotten!” opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, in Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre on the main campus of Shenandoah University. Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 5, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6.

The most recent tour, which concluded in Seoul, South Korea, featured two Shenandoah University alumni (Emma Benson and Zachary Bigelow, both B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, ’18). This marks the second major university premiere of a Broadway musical by Shenandoah Conservatory in recent years. In 2014, the university premiered Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

“Something Rotten!” is an original musical comedy with a book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick, and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick. The musical is set in 1595 England and tells the story of the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel. The brothers are struggling to find success in the theatrical world dominated by the “rock star” William Shakespeare. When a fortune teller predicts that the future of theatre will include acting, dancing, and singing all at once, the brothers set out to write the world’s first musical.

Time Out New York called the production “Broadway’s funniest, splashiest, slap-happiest musical comedy in at least 400 years,” and the Associated Press called it “easily the funniest thing to arrive on Broadway since ‘The Book of Mormon.’”

The production at Shenandoah Conservatory is guided by a team of faculty who are also Broadway veterans, including Charles B. Levitin Chair in Musical Theater and Assistant Professor of Theatre Kevin Covert (“Memphis,” “Spamalot,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”) as director; Associate Professor of Theatre and Visiting Musical Director Patrick Brady (“Young Frankenstein,” “The Producers,” “Fosse”) as music director; and Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Shylo Martinez, M.F.A.,(“Wicked,” “Movin’ Out”) as choreographer.

Also lending their talents are Associate Professor of Theatre – Scenic and Lighting Design William Pierson, M.F.A. (scenic designer); Associate Professor of Theatre – Costume Design Jennifer Flitton Adams, M.F.A. (costume designer); and Assistant Professor of Theatre – Lighting Design Andrew Carson, M.F.A., (lighting designer).

In addition, students will have the opportunity to work with Steve Bebout, associate director of the Broadway production and director of the most recent national tour, during his residency on Shenandoah’s campus.

“We are thrilled to be the first venue to present this show after its Broadway and National Tour runs,” said Covert, who directs the conservatory’s musical theatre program. “Premieres like this go hand-in-hand with the industry-focused, contemporary training our musical theatre students are receiving at Shenandoah. The opportunity for them to work with industry professionals like Steve is exactly the type of real-world experience they need to be successful in this career.”

For tickets, visit conservatoryperforms.org or call the Shenandoah University Box Office at (540) 665-4569. Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre is the university’s 630-seat performing arts venue featuring a proscenium stage.