The Bard is Back (Again)

‘Something Rotten,’ a musical ode to Shakespeare, opens today


Senior Jack Lawrence (William Shakespeare) annoys sophomore Zach Reinie (Nick Bottom) during Nick’s trial.

Nolan Zils, Editor-in-Chief

Shakespeare is back once again at Branham this year as the Backstage Bruins open their spring musical tonight with the comedy musical “Something Rotten!”

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The musical continues their yearlong Shakespeare theme, starting with the fall play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Additionally, it is the first maskless Branham musical in four years since “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in 2019.

“Something Rotten” is filled with references to musical theater and Shakespearean sonnets and follows brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, played by sophomore Zach Reinie and junior Christian Winzenread, who try to make it big as playwrights in England at the height of William Shakespeare’s (senior Jack Lawrence) peak of popularity.

Nick meets soothsayer Nostradamus (sophomore Wycoff Higgins), who tells him that musicals are the next big thing. Thinking that Shakespeare’s biggest future hit will be “Omelet” instead of “Hamlet,” Nick sets out to earn his rightful place on top and dethrone Shakespeare as the playwright king.

Freshman Sarah Osband, a Childrens Musical Theater San Jose performer, plays the Minstrel in her high school theater debut.

Osband said she loves that students are the driving forces behind the show in school productions. She also said that her castmates made the musical a memorable one.

“Even after the show ends, we’ll still hang out and be able to see each other,” she said. “It’s something really special and I’m really excited for audiences to come and see it.”

The show will perform through Saturday, and will additionally have a second week of performances starting April 5, with a closing night on April 7.