- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The Broadway musical “Something Rotten!” will swap Tony Award-nominees when Rob McClure takes over from Brian d’Arcy James.

McClure, fresh off his comedic turn in “Noises Off,” will step into the heroic and romantic lead role of Nick Bottom in the show at the St. James Theatre beginning the first week of June.

“I’m excited and terrified at the same time,” said McClure. “Brian d’Arcy James, I really think, is one of the greatest American leading men alive. I really do. And I’m not even going to attempt to fill his shoes. I’m going to hang up his shoes on my dressing room wall - and adore them - and just bring my shoes and hope people like them.”

The Tony-nominated comedy is set during the Renaissance and portrays Shakespeare (Christian Borle) as an arrogant, rock star playwright. Two brothers - played currently by James and John Cariani - are desperate to write a hit show in his shadow. They come up with the world’s first musical.

“They’ve somehow managed to poke fun at the art form and send it the most profound love letter at the same time. That’s the real beautiful balance that the show has struck and one that I’ll be excited to fit into to,” said McClure.

McClure’s Broadway credits include “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Chaplin: The Musical” and he recently shot the CBS pilot “Drew.” Now he’ll be singing the song “God, I Hate Shakespeare.”

James, who was on NBC’s series “Smash,” was part of the Oscar-winning cast of “Spotlight.” His final performance in “Something Rotten!” is May 29.

The musical is the brainchild of Karey Kirkpatrick, who co-wrote the songs with his brother, Wayne, and co-wrote the story with John O’Farrell. Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs.

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Online: http://www.RottenBroadway.com

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Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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