SOMETHING ROTTEN in Philadelphia: Philly natives return with the touring production

Philadelphia natives Rob McClure and Maggie Lakis are returning home for SOMETHING ROTTEN. The two star as a married couple in the 10-time Tony Nominated musical comedy which makes its Philly premiere February 27th at the Academy of Music. Ironically, the two are also married in “real life.” The couple were engaged (on stage) at the Forrest Theatre in 2008, when they were both starring in Avenue Q. The two talk about their roles and what it means to work and tour together.

Something Rotten will play February 27th-March 4th at the Academy of Music.

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Rob McClure and Maggie Lakis in SOMETHING ROTTEN.

Debra Danese: How did you both get involved in this production of SOMETHING ROTTEN?

Rob McClure: I did the role on Broadway and had a blast, so when they asked if I’d be interested in the tour, I was intrigued. Once Maggie got cast, then it was a no brainer. Tour the country with my wife making people laugh? Yes, please.

Maggie Lakis: I got an appointment and auditioned for the associate director, Steve Bebout. I did a scene and the song, “Right Hand Man.” Afterwards I was leaving the building, and casting called me and asked me instead of coming back in for a callback, could I just come upstairs again so they could record me and send it on to the director, Casey Nicholaw, the producers, and writers. I thought, “Well that sure seems like a good sign.” I heard back pretty quickly that I had gotten the role.

DD: What have been your favorite roles to play?

RM: Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin: The Musical. Getting to dive into that kind of genius is a rare treat that changed the way I think about storytelling.

ML: I’m loving Bea. She’s a great character, who gets a great song. Then in the spirit of Shakespearean heroines, she dons a few male disguises throughout the show. So I get to play Bea playing other characters, which is a blast.

DD: How is it working together as a married couple both onstage and off? And have you worked together before?

RM: This is our 5th time working together in our 12 years as a couple. It’s the best. She’s an incredible talent and watching her work in our scenes together is a nightly reminder of how bad**s she is.

ML: It’s awesome. We know each other better than anyone else does. We can practically read each other’s minds onstage and just be there for each other. And I get the best seat in the house watching him work. As far as offstage, work usually takes you away from your partner, but on this tour, we get to go on this journey and see the country together. We brought our cat, Nico. It’s actually his second tour, so he’s an old pro too. It’s so comforting having this traveling family unit.

DD: How did you meet?

RM: We met in a production of Grease in 2005. We played Doody & Frenchy.

ML: I joke that I guessed he had a crush on me at the time because he kept saying, “I’d marry you.”

DD: What item from home always comes with on tour with you?

RM: I have an 11 year old pair of Converse all- star sneakers that have touched down all over the world. I take pictures of them on my feet in landmark places around the globe. Check them out @LacesGoingPlaces on Instagram!

ML: Our cat Nico! You can follow his tour adventures @rottentourcat on Instagram!

DD: What is a “must do” for you when back in Philly?

RM: Federal Donuts!

ML: We’ll be back in May, so I’m going to want to see some Phillies games. I also like to jog so I’m looking forward to running around some of my favorite places.

[Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street] February 27-March 4, 2018; kimmelcenter.org

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About the author

Debra Danese

Debra graduated with a degree in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. She is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra has performed in Europe, Tokyo, Canada, and the Caribbean. She teaches and choreographs world-wide and has been an international guest artist in Switzerland, England, and Slovakia. Debra has been an Artist in Residence on five occasions in Norway where she showcased full length dance productions at the acclaimed Nordland Theatre. She has also presented an original dance production at the Elspe Festival in Germany. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. Additionally, she has been a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine since 2010.