‘Something Rotten’ embraces losing Best Musical Tony Award

Although "Something Rotten"had 10 Tony Award nominations, the only one it took home was for Christian Borle for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. (PHOTO: Joan Marcus)
Although “Something Rotten” earned 10 Tony Award nominations, the only one it took home was for Christian Borle for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. (PHOTO: Joan Marcus)

Usually a Broadway show that wins only one Tony Award, or just got nominated for one Tony, emphasizes the positive. Not “Something Rotten.” It ran a full-page ad in the NYTimes proclaiming  itself a “Loser,” after taking home only 1 of the 10 awards for which it was nominated.

An excellent article recently published in the NYTimes explores the producers chutzpah. Reporter Michael Paulson writes, ” ‘The “Rotten!’ ad was devised the day after the Tony Awards, when the show’s dejected marketing team gathered at the offices of its advertising agency, SpotCo, to figure out what to do next.”

After all, the irony of the whole thing is “Something Rotten” is about two struggling playwrights who are desperate to best their chief rival — Will Shakespeare — and the only Tony the show got was for Christian Borle, who plays Shakespeare.

So the producers of the show that was nominated for “Best Musical” decided to point out what great company they were in including other “losers” that didn’t take home the Best Musical award, such as “West Side Story,” “Grease,” “Mama Mia!” and “Wicked.”

Image of the full page NYTimes ad for "Something Rotten."“You’re always hoping that you’re going to win, but if you don’t, you have to think about how to position your show,”  Kevin McCollum, the lead producer of “Rotten!”  told the NY Times. “Very few shows have the confidence to go with the headline ‘Loser!,’ but it illustrates that we’re confident enough to acknowledge our loss and celebrate those that came before us.”

To read the complete story, click here.

To order tickets, click here.

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