Far From Rotten

The hilarious spring musical “Something Rotten” showcased Backstage Bruins’ impressive talent.


Nolan Zils/Bear Witness

Sophomores Wycoff Higgins (Nostradamus) and Zach Reinie (Nick Bottom) perform the showstopping “A Musical” dance number.

Nolan Zils, Co-Editor-In-Chief

The eggs may be rotten, but ‘Something Rotten,’ which closed Friday was the furthest thing from that. In the best way possible, Backstage Bruins’ “Something Rotten” spring musical didn’t feel like a high school production. It felt professional.

“Something Rotten” features memorable songs, a solid plot and strong humor, and wIth their perfect stage chemistry, comedic timing, vocals and choreography, the cast absolutely did the show justice.

A common issue in school productions is diction, with actors talking too quickly or not talking clearly enough. If audience members can’t understand the lines, they are missing key moments of the plot. For a show like “Something Rotten,” which is both an homage to Shakespeare and Broadway, diction is crucial for the jokes to land. In this production, I was able to understand almost every line, and not a single joke was lost because of bad diction, which maximized the show’s humor and the audience’s enjoyment.

In his first musical lead role (Nick Bottom), Zach Reine’s energy, stage presence, and comedic delivery stood out. For someone who has never tapped before, his dancing was insanely impressive. This sophomore has massive potential going forward. (Nolan Zils/Bear Witness)

Choreography can also be an aspect of musicals that is mediocre in high school shows. The dancing in this show was exciting, engaging and totally fit the wacky nature of the show.

Credit has to go to the pit orchestra, conducted by band director Chris Nalls. It’s not easy to get a big orchestra for a high school musical, but with students who’ve performed in the county and state honor bands, the band was one of the best I’ve heard in a high school show for a long time.

Senior Marilyn Alonzo’s spunk and fierceness made her performance as Bea Bottom very memorable. Her ability to portray Bea’s numerous disguises showed her acting range, and she has a crystal-clear singing voice. (Nolan Zils/Bear Witness)

The student tech crew also did a fantastic job with not only the mixing, and balanced the pit orchestra’s sound with the actors’. I can’t remember a sound or lighting cue being missed, and that is a testament to the crew’s skill.

This show is one of my favorites, and this production exceeded my expectations and more. “Something Rotten” is by far my favorite Backstage Bruins production in the four years I’ve been at Branham, and though there are many key seniors leaving, the performances from the underclassmen and juniors show how bright the future is for this theater group, led by theater teacher Jennifer Sorkin