CHICAGO (CBS) — “I’ll just say tap dancing eggs. That doesn’t give too much away, does it?” laughed Pierce Cassedy, who plays in the ensemble of the “Something Rotten!” national tour.
“This show is pretty outrageous. Sometimes I look around and say is this really my life right now?” he laughed. “It’s so fun and I’m so grateful to be in such a wonderful show.”
“Something Rotten!” is set in 1590’s London, and centers around writers Nick and Nigel Bottom. The brothers struggle to create scripts to compete with hit playwright, William Shakespeare, who is portrayed in the show as a cocky glam rock star.
“The brothers are trying to be as good, if not better than Shakespeare, but can’t. One goes to a soothsayer to ask to what the next big thing in theater is and he tells them musicals,” said Patrick John Moran, who is in the ensemble.
“The Shakespeare fans will really love the second act. There is a show within the show at the end that shows the audience the mistake the brothers make in the musical they’re trying to make,” said Cassedy.
Moran got his first professional work in Chicago in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
“It was my first big gig that I did. I instantly fell in love with the city. To come to Chicago and do another brilliantly funny show in a theater-loving city — it’s heartwarming,” Moran said.
Cassedy spent months performing in “The Book of Mormon.”
“That was my first big show. I was a wee, bitty baby back then, but I learned a lot about theater, and how to do comedy. It’s a nice little homecoming for me,” he said.
Mix elaborate costumes, dozens of musical theater references and an ensemble that is full of quick changes, sets and giant dance numbers and you have a show within a show.
“Our costumes are amazing. We automatically get into character,” said Moran.
“If you could only see what happens back stage. It’s like a race to get into your costume,” Cassedy added. “This is really an ode to musicals, a love letter to musical theater.”
“Whether you like musicals or not, you’ll get these jokes. But for those diehards, the writers say there are more than 90 references throughout the show,” said Moran.
“Something Rotten!” which opened on Broadway in 2015, began its first tour in January. The Broadway production was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The show runs through July 23 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.