This summer, the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society returns to the Renaissance era with a production of the Tony-nominated musical comedy, “Something Rotten!” from May 25 to June 11, 2023.
Written by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, this large and lavish production whisks audiences away to the Golden Age of Elizabethan England for a satirical look of Shakespeare’s status as the rock star of his age and the birth of the beloved musical theater genre. The 2015 Broadway premiere had audiences roaring with laughter, and now, this delightful production arrives in Côte Saint-Luc with a diverse and talented cast of 45 professional and community players.
Set in 1595, “Something Rotten!” follows playwright siblings Nick and Nigel Bottom as they strive to outshine the Renaissance rock star William Shakespeare. Guided by a mysterious soothsayer, the Bottom brothers embark on an ambitious quest to create a ground-breaking new form of theatre—the musical. Alongside Nick’s wife Bea, the lovely Puritan Portia, and their dedicated troupe of actors, Nick and Nigel ultimately discover the importance of staying true to oneself.
“Something Rotten!” marks the triumphant return of the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society after a three-year pandemic-induced hiatus. The company’s previous Montreal English Theatre Award-winning productions, “Cabaret” (2019) and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (2018), enjoyed sold-out runs, with the latter being remounted at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in 2019 due to popular demand. The Dramatic Society’s productions of “Hairspray” and “Catch Me If You Can” were also met with rave reviews and remounted by popular demand.
In addition to the Dramatic Society’s four Montreal English Theatre Awards (for Cabaret, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Hairspray and The Producers), it also won six Broadway World Montreal Awards for The Producers and Little Shop of Horrors.
The show is directed by Anisa Cameron, the Artistic Director of the Dramatic Society. The show is produced by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillor Andee Shuster, and Councillor Mitch Kujavsky.
Performing the lead role of Nicolas Bottom is seasoned American-Canadian actor Joseph Salvatore Vitale. After a seven-year break from the stage, Joseph is making a major return in 2023 with lead roles in Something Rotten!, Contact Theatre’s Reefer Madness and producing his own cabarets, Queer Magique. Dr. Mikey Samra stars as Nigel Bottom, Nick’s gifted playwright brother. Mikey has worked with the Dramatic Society over its 12-year history with memorable roles in Grease and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, but none more memorable than his star turn as Leo Bloom in the Dramatic Society co-production of The Producers with The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and The Segal Centre for Performing Arts.
Theodore Vlachos stars as Shakespeare, in the style of Freddy Mercury. Theodore is a graduate of the professional acting program at John Abbot College and in 2022 won Mado’s Drag Moi competition with his drag persona, Augusta Wind. Alisha Ruiss (Hairspray, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) returns to the Dramatic Society stage as Beatrice, Nick’s wife who has a lot of modern ideas. Megan Magisano (Catch Me If You Can, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret) also returns to the Dramatic Society stage as Portia, a Puritan with a penchant for poetry. John Kovac (Cabaret and Merton of the Movies) will be back with the Dramatic Society taking on the role of Brother Jeremiah, Portia’s father and a Hellfire and Brimstone, Soapbox speech giving Puritan. Last, but not least, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein (Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) will step back onto the stage tackling the role of Thomas Nostradamus, a soothsayer who envisions that the next big thing in theatre will be something called a “musical.” Performers ranging in age from 17 to 87 round out the large singing, tap-dancing ensemble.
Veteran musical director and long-time Dramatic Society collaborator, Nick Burgess returns to lead the cast and the 7-piece professional band through this catchy, singable show. Another long-time collaborator and performer, Ryan Kligman, has stepped up to be the associate director and the Dramatic Society is overjoyed to be collaborating for the first time with seasoned choreographer and crackerjack tapper, Valérie Rochette. The design team includes more long-time collaborators including Scott Drysdale as Dramatic Society Technical Director, sets by Rachel-Anne Germinario, costumes by Elyse Malo and lights by Linda Babins, who is doing double duty as the production’s stage manager.
The show will be presented at the newly renovated Wagar Auditorium located at 5785 Parkhaven Avenue. Tickets will be available online at CSLDramaticSociety.com. For help buying tickets, visit the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5801 Cavendish Blvd.). General admission is $38, with $29 tickets available for students, seniors, Côte Saint-Luc Fun Card members, and members of the Quebec Drama Federation. Recommended age is 10+ due to some language and cheeky content. Please contact Anisa Cameron for further information or interviews at 514-485-6806 x 7012 or [email protected].
About the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society
Since 2011, The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society seeks to bring together actors, writers, musicians and other artistically minded community members to produce theatrical works in an inclusive, collaborative environment where artistic excellence is nurtured and encouraged by our professional production team.
“I am so proud of the award-winning company we’ve built over the past 12 years. “Something Rotten!” offers us an opportunity to produce a show that will embody the spirit of community theatre, while challenging our team to continue to produce excellent, artistically rich and fulfilling work. I am thrilled that this cast will be our largest and most inclusive since Fiddler on the Roof in 2013!”
—Anisa Cameron, Director of the production and Artistic Director of the Dramatic Society
“I am thrilled that we are bringing theatre back to Côte Saint-Luc with this hilarious and spectacular production. I am particularly proud that we were able to welcome such a large, inclusive cast to bring joy to our community by giving this remarkable show a life on a local stage.”
—Mitchell Brownstein, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc and producer
“I am so happy to be a part of such a funny, feel-good show. We all could use a good belly laugh right now. You don’t need to know musicals or Shakespeare to love this show, but it couldn’t hurt.”
—Andee Shuster, City Councillor and producer, who will have a cameo as Lady Clapham.
“So delighted to be part of the producing team once again for the Dramatic Society. Something Rotten is an incredible show that’s great for all audiences.”
—Mitchell Kujavsky, City Councillor and producer