Palos Village Players presents “Something Rotten!” in Palos Park

Gina Lutvi’s day job involves coordinating transport for TV and movies, but the Oak Lawn resident said working on plays allows her to explore her creativity.

Her latest community theater project is the staging of “Something Rotten!” of the Palos Village Players. The musical, which debuted Nov. 4, continues through Nov. 12 at the Palos Park Recreation Center.

“‘Something rotten!’ is set in the 1590s in Shakespearean England. It’s about Nick Bottom, who is a playwright. He has his own theater troupe and he lives in the shadow of William Shakespeare,” said Lutvi, who has worked on television shows “Chicago Fire”, “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Med” for several years.

“The premise of the play is that he must put on a better show than Shakespeare. He finds it difficult to do it on his own. He goes to a fortune teller who tells him that the future is in musicals, so he set out to write the world’s first musical.

Lutvi went from being a cast member on the Palos Village Players 2022 season-opening show “The 39 Steps” in February to working behind the scenes on the band’s season-closing show “Something Rotten! ” at the request of Hickory Hills Board Chairman Len Wcislo, who is the latter’s deputy director.

“It’s a very funny show,” said Lutvi, who also worked on the “South Side” TV series as well as “The Batman” and “Beats” films.

“It’s always fun to end on a musical. It gets a lot of people in the seats, it brings a lot of people on stage, and it’s really nice to end with a comedy and end the season with a laugh and a song.

The original Broadway production of “Something Rotten!” received 10 Tony Award nominations, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.

Lutvi cited “To Thine Own Self (Reprise)” as her favorite song in the piece.

“I love this song because it’s one of those resolution songs where the character accepts what they did wrong and realizes what they should have done all along,” she said.

“In this case, it’s just about doing what you do best. Be true to yourself and good things will come. I like this.”

Lutvi, who directed Palos Village Players’ “The Producers” in 2017 and “The Drowsy Chaperone” in 2018 as Gina Dunn, works with a production team from Bolingbrook, Chicago, Oak Forest, Orland Park and residents of Palos Heights for “Something Rotten!” in Palos Park.

“I prefer to direct. You must be involved in all aspects of the show. I really enjoy working with lots of different people and using everyone’s talents to create something. It’s a lot of fun for me,” she said.

The cast includes Alsip, Burbank, Evergreen Park, Frankfort, Joliet, Kankakee, Lemont, New Lenox, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Steger, Tinley Park and residents of Wood Dale.

“We were very lucky with the people who auditioned. We have a very talented cast, not just singers and dancers, but talented actors. We had so many people we had to say no to, which was good but also terrible,” Lutvi said.

“The people we had were just amazing. They’ve worked very hard and it’s been fun to watch them grow over the past few weeks.

After “Something Rotten!” come the auditions for “All the Days” by Sharyn Rothstein.

According to Lutvi, the Palos Village Players’ next season also includes “Leaving Iowa” from April 21-30, 2023, and an audience-choice show running November 3-11, 2023, ending that year.

“They are very inclusive. They make sure to do new plays, old plays and musicals,” Lutvi said of why she has remained involved with the group since 2004.

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“All anyone who wants to do a show has to do is show up and pitch the show to the board. This is how they chose the first two shows of the 2023 season. They are very open to new members.

“Something rotten!”

When: 7:30 p.m. 11-12 Nov.

Where: Palos Park Recreation Center, 8901 W. 123rd St., Palos Park

Tickets: $25 adults; $23 seniors or students

Information: 877-787-8497; palosvillageplayers.com

Jessi Virtusio is a freelance journalist for the Daily Southtown.

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