Something Rottener!

Our amazing, rave-reviewed production of Something Rotten! had to end prematurely because of Covid. We only lost our last two performances, but it still sucks. I hate that we still have to deal with this. If you're not fully vaccinated and boosted, please do it -- for the local theatre community, if for no other reason.

It's hard enough on us artsies to close a show under normal conditions, but having to cancel the last two performances makes it so much harder. We feel "cheated," I guess. I will miss living in this wacky, upside-down world of the Bottoms so much!

So here's my way of processing all this -- a parody lyric, with apologies to the Kirkpatrick Brothers.
Welcome to the Covid Plague,
The new Black Death for our tuneful egg;
That's Something Rotten!
The critics ate us up;
We were an obvious hit.
Until the virus took a shit on it!

Welcome to the theatre,
Where Covid is the Great Canceler,
So small, so mighty!
It leaves our coffers empty
And our budgeting vexed.
What closes next?
Covid flexed,
And theatres are battered and perplexed.

Here we have a musical or cabaret;
There we have a one-act and a Pinter play.
These shows we put our hope in
May close the night they open.
It kills us but the Covid couldn't care.

Take all the precautions that you're s'posed to take;
Mask up for rehearsal, just for safety's sake.
But odds are good, I'll betcha,
The Covid's gonna getcha,
Floating freely in our very air!

Due to this pandemic
And all that it's wrought,
We know our labors
Might all come to naught...

Welcome to the Covid Plague,
In which our future looks awfully vague;
And that feels rotten!
Our audiences loved us;
We lightened their mood;
While Covid brewed.
Sure, it's crude,
But the Covid Plague has left us all so screwed!

(And by the way, if you'd like to make a generous contribution to New Line to offset the losses of our canceled performances of Something Rotten!, you can click here. And thank you in advance!)

So another wild and wonderful adventure is over. It ended more abruptly than we expected, but we got to share this amazing show with audiences for ten performances, we got nothing but praise and rave reviews, and we had SUCH A GOOD TIME working on this!

But we didn't get to "finish." I realize that we haven't had a closing night cast party since 2019 -- and I realize now how important those parties are, to "close" the experience, to celebrate our success, to say our goodbyes and thank-you's, to finish this experience, in order to go on to the next project.

I've come to understand over the years that ritual is incredibly important to the psychological health of humans, particularly recurring rituals, like holidays, birthdays, religious rites, and theatre.

And also, final cast parties. It's a ritual we repeat for a reason.

I can't wait for the time when we don't have to wear masks in rehearsal, when we don't have to worry about shows getting shut down mid-run, when we can have opening night parties and closing night cast parties again, when we can return to our annual New Line Holiday Dinner.

For obvious reasons, I keep hearing in my head this dialogue from Shakespeare in Love:
Henslowe: What have I done, Mr. Fennyman?
Fennyman: The theatres are all closed by the plaque!
Henslowe: Oh, that.
Fennyman: By order of the Master of the Revels!
Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, let me explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of unsurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Believe me, to be closed by the plague is a bagatelle in the ups and downs of owning a theatre.
Fennyman: So what do we do?
Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Fennyman: How?
Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

All my life in the theatre, catastrophe after disaster, Henslowe's been right -- strangely enough, it all turns out well. Always. Until 2020, that is. 

So we're still waiting. I don't care how it works, I just want it to work.

Long Live the Musical!

P.S. To make a donation to New Line, click here.

P.P.S. To check out my newest musical theatre books, click here.

P.P.P.S. For info about my newest musical, A Reefer Madness Christmas, click here.


Anonymous | October 16, 2022 at 5:41 PM

I’m so sorry for the two audiences who missed this wonderful show.