By Frankie Kujawa
Running through Sunday, March 19th at Toby's Dinner Theatre, "Something Rotten" has audiences rolling over with laughter. Set in the 1590’s, "Something Rotten" tells the story of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of a “Renaissance Rockstar.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, they set out to write the world’s first musical. Actor Jordan B. Stocksdale, who plays Nostradamus in the performance, recently chatted about the performance, his role and what makes Toby's such a unique theater to visit.
Frankie Kujawa: What can audiences expect from “Something Rotten” at Toby’s Dinner Theatre?
Jordan B. Stocksdale: Comedy. It is a laugh a minute. I always tell people when they are not familiar with the show, if you love musicals and you love Shakespeare, then you’re going to love this show. And, if you hate musicals and hate Shakespeare, then you’re going to love this show. (Laughs) People feel like they need to come back a second time to see it because they may have missed a joke because they were too busy laughing at the previous one. This show is nonstop fun!
Frankie Kujawa: Could you briefly describe your character, Nostradamus, for our readers?
Jordan B. Stocksdale: Nostradamus is an interesting character. He’s the nephew of the original Nostradamus, and has the same similar gifts as him, as well. However, his gift isn’t as attuned as his uncle’s gift. He sets up many of the solutions but also many of the problems. He’s the one to look out for if you love musicals. His big solo number is called “Musical,” and there are over a hundred references to musicals throughout history. Whether it's the underscoring, or a specific lyric or the choreography; it all references previous musicals. If you love musicals, you’re going to love the number “Musical.”
Frankie Kujawa: What went into preparing for this role?
Jordan B. Stocksdale: Some of us have been preparing for this role for a very long time. Many of us saw it originally on Broadway. When we saw it we were like, ‘We have to do this show!’ It was part of the season that was shut down before Covid, and then it was added back into the schedule. A lot of us have been "gunning" for this show and for our role. We’ve had plenty of time to prepare for it because it was a show we all wanted to do since we saw it on Broadway. We had about 16-17 rehearsals, which is tight after December. However, the entire cast was so in love with this piece and so excited to be doing it that everyone came in ready to go and it was just fine-tuning it and fun.
Frankie Kujawa: In your own words, what makes Toby's Dinner Theatre a unique theater for audiences to visit?
Jordan B. Stocksdale: From a personal aspect, I have been growing up going to Toby’s. Toby's was my first theatrical experience from when I was younger, and so much a part of my growing up watching theatre.
From an audience aspect, there isn’t any other theater much like it. This is because it’s in the round and so intimate. Audiences are able to see a show from a whole different angle. There is a no 4th wall because it’s a 360-degree space. You see the aspect of every theater.
For more information, please visit: tobysdinnertheatre.com/shows/something-rotten-2023/