If your cheeks are sore when you exit the Winspear Opera House between June 13 and June 25, Blake Hammond and his Something Rotten! castmates have done their job.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world that’s kind of depressing,” says Hammond. “It’s nice to take a little time for yourself and find things that make you laugh, because laughter really is the best medicine.”
Hammond, a Fort Worth native and University of Texas theater graduate, plays soothsayer Nostradamus in the comical production. Set in 1595, it tells the story of two brothers wanting to create a hit play to rival Shakespeare’s success. Nostradamus turns Nick and Nigel Bottom on to the idea of creating the world’s very first musical.
Hammond describes the show as a love letter to Broadway musicals and Shakespeare, with a modern spin.
“If you love theater you will love this," he says. "It’s so much fun."
His big moment comes in the first act, when he commands an eight-and-a-half-minute number that's packed with references to and snippets from some of Broadway’s most beloved musicals.
“It’s probably my favorite number I’ve done in my career and really, truly brings the house down," he says. "It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to step out there and make that happen.”
Hammond is spending four weeks with the tour in Texas, including one week each already in Austin and Houston. The Dallas stop begins June 13 and plays through June 25. It will also play Bass Hall in Fort Worth early next year, January 16-21. He says he’s looking forward to visiting with family and having them in the audience.
“Coming to Texas is really sweet for me," he says. "I played Austin on my first tour, which was in the late '80s with Jesus Christ Superstar, but I haven’t been back to Austin since with a tour.”
Hammond says Something Rotten!’s clever one-liners, non sequiturs, and talented cast make it a hilarious, must-see show.
“When people walk out of the theater they tell us over and over that their cheeks hurt from laughing," Hammond says. "It’s great to hear that they’ve been smiling so much for two-and-a-half hours. I love it.”
Something Rotten! plays the Winspear Opera House June 13-25.