Nothing Rotten About Something Rotten!

Garnering 10 Tony nominations, there is nothing rotten about the Broadway smash hit Something Rotten! coming to The Lincoln Center March 28-30.

Set in the height of Shakespeare’s fame, Something Rotten! follows brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who are desperate to write the next big play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing and dancing, they set out to write the world’s very first musical… even though they aren’t really sure what that means.

We caught up with Jennifer Elizabeth Smith, who plays Portia, a Shakespeare fangirl who must keep her love of poetry under wraps from her Puritan family. When she meets Nigel Bottom, she reads his poems and falls in love. Portia and Nigel share a deeper connection through their shared inability to be themselves—Nigel can’t write what he wants because of his brother’s ideas, and Portia can’t live the life she wants because of her family. “It’s about two people that lead secluded lives, who’ve never gotten to share their true feelings. It has such a great message,” says Smith. “To thine own self be true.”

Something Rotten! is The Book of Mormon meets Spamalot. In fact, the choreographer for both (and the co-director of The Book of Mormon), Casey Nicholaw, directed Something Rotten!. It’s a musical for people who love musicals, and for people who hate them—Shakespeare traipses around the stage as if he were a Backstreet Boy while Nick Bottom despairs how silly it is that people would just break out into song while breaking out into song himself. In short, Something Rotten! is justold-fashioned frivolous entertainment, and a feel-good show that will leave you one-hundred percent happier”.

Something Rotten! takes place in the Renaissance, but it’s told with a modern eye which makes it really unique and fun,” says Smith. “Even if you hated Shakespeare in high school, you’ll love ours.”

Fans of musicals geek out over the show because there are easter eggs all over the place. People who love to have a good time will just enjoy the spectacle. “It’s high-energy,” says Smith. “It’ll make you laugh, it might make you cry. You’ll definitely have a greater love for musicals and maybe even Shakespeare when you leave.”

Something Rotten is the funniest show you’ll see all year. Hand’s down,” continues Smith. “You’re not going to know what to expect. It’s going to be a surprise second after second which makes it a great two-and-half-hour escape.”

Go back in time and see the first musical ever made March 28-30 with Something Rotten! Seats from $20 at

‘Jones’ing for an Exclusive Concert?

Known as a keyboard and electronica pioneer, Howard Jones brings an exclusive acoustic experience to The Lincoln Center on March 24. Howard Jones Acoustic Trio will feature Jones’ longtime friend, Nick Beggs (Kajagoogoo) on Chapman stick and Robin Boult (Fish) on acoustic guitar, delivering a fresh take on Jones’ best-known hits and more from his 30-year music career.

Jones’ 80s and 90s hits like “Things Can Only Get Better,” “No One Is to Blame,” “What is Love?” and “New Song” remain favorites with new album releases and remixes reaching new audiences today.

While electronic music remains Jones’ main genre, his musical approach has dramatically expanded and evolved during his career to include solo piano, string quartets, orchestras and choral music.

“I’ve always been very much for electronic work but I’m really a singer-songwriter at heart,” says Jones. “I like to go out and play acoustic shows to highlight the songwriting.”

Jones has previously performed acoustic solo shows, but the upcoming tour offers a rare chance to see Jones with two renowned musicians, including the world’s foremost Chapman stick player, Nick Beggs. To add even more cachet to the Acoustic Trio tour, it can only be experienced in six cities across the US.

“The Acoustic Trio shows are the only time the three of us [Jones, Beggs and Boult] will appear on stage together,” says Jones. “We are all very busy so this is a rare opportunity, which makes it special. It’s a one-off rarity.”

In addition to Jones’ well-known hits, there is a chance the audience may hear a sneak-peek from Jones’ upcoming electronic album, Transform, due out in May 2019. Transform is the second chapter of Jones’ four-part series that began with Engage in 2015. Listeners can expect the album and Acoustic Trio performance to continue Jones’ exploration of universal themes that affect the human condition.

“I’ve always had a message of hope and encouragement in my work,” says Jones. “We all have a lot of difficulties and problems to overcome in life. You never know what’s right around the corner, so we have to stay strong and keep believing in ourselves.”

Be a part of this exclusive stripped-down trip through Howard Jones’ iconic music. Seats from $15 at

See The Illusionists Before They Disappear

What do you get when you put together six world-class magicians? A mind-blowing experience from The Illusionists that you don’t want to miss at The Lincoln Center April 9-10!

Full of death-defying stunts, acts of breathtaking wonder and mischievous tricksters, The Illusionists Live from Broadway features the jaw-dropping talents of six of the most brilliant magicians in the world today.

One of these is The Sorceress Sabine, who is the first woman to star in the show. We caught up with her while she was touring Europe with The Illusionists.

Fresh off the Now You See Me tour where she played one of the Four Horsemen, Sabine has been described as “one of the most extraordinary and talented performers in magic” with her amazing performances, escapes, illusions and mind games.

Sabine says that Fort Collins “can look forward to a big variety of magic skills” and not just the typical card tricks or “the rabbit out of the hat.”

She also encourages the whole family to attend “because there’s something for everyone! We have danger. We have mindreading and we also don’t forget the little ones, of course.”

“It’s a great evening out that is not finished the moment you walk out the door,” says The Sorceress. The Illusionists will leave you asking yourself, “How did they do that?” long after the performance is over.

This is a show that delivers genuine moments of wonder, discomfort, and a delightful feeling that maybe there really is magic in the world. More importantly, Sabine hopes that people see that what seems impossible in their normal everyday life might not be at all.

“Our goal is to make you believe in magic again,” says Sabine, and The Illusionists will make you do just that.

Come see The Illusionists April 9-10 before they disappear! Seats from $20 at

Escaping to the Symphony

During chemotherapy, Mary Hill watches a short virtual reality video that puts her in her favorite seat at a symphony – right next to the violinists — while her husband, John Hill, watches on a tablet. Photos by Joel Blocker, for UCHealth.

UCHealth uses the power of technology to transform the patient experience.

Mary Hill took off her knitted cap and placed the strap for the virtual reality goggles over her smooth head. She motioned to her husband, John, and asked him to select the symphony video on the tablet he was holding.

“We’ve been to Symphonic Hall in Paris twice,” she said. “Oh, the acoustics, the music and the world-class musicians.”

The virtual reality video begins and a smile comes over Mary’s face.

“They put me in the best spot,” she said. “Right next to the violinists.”

Offering virtual reality for patients who are receiving infusion therapy is one of the ways that UCHealth is aiming to enhance the patient experience.

“Virtual reality has been used in health care for a couple decades now,” said Nicole Caputo, UCHealth’s director of experience and innovation. “We read the literature and research on its benefits and decided it was something we should see if our patients would benefit from.”

In health care, VR is being used for pain management, to combat loneliness in long-term care facilities and for clinical education. Virtual reality is also popular in gaming and the construction industry to showcase proposed designs.

Since infusion patients often spend hours sitting in one spot while they receive treatment, UCHealth started a trial for VR in the infusion centers. 

“We wanted to see if using virtual reality as a distraction improved our patient experience,” Caputo said.

The results were overwhelmingly positive.

The pilot program

A poll of 18 caregivers, 60 patients and 18 staff members who provide care for those patients found that 88 percent of patients who tried VR said they’d use it again, as did 94 percent of caregivers.

“We learned it was a distraction, but we kind of knew that,” Caputo said. “But what we learned that we didn’t know going in was that it’s so much more than a distraction. For patients, it made time go faster and transported them to a new place — some even said they forgot they were sick for a bit.

“The best part is that it’s simple — it makes people happy. And if we can do that while they are here, that’s what we want to do. That’s what makes this technology so powerful; it has the power to transform your experience.”

Expanding VR in health-care facilities

With data to back the plan, UCHealth chose 10 locations to roll out VR at outpatient cancer care and infusion facilities throughout the Front Range and Steamboat Springs.

Chuck Kler was one of the first patients in northern Colorado to use VR. He gets blood work done several times a week and must wait for the results before knowing if he’ll need to stay longer for a blood transfusion. He enjoys VR and said it breaks up the monotony of doing the same thing each time he comes.

“It’s fascinating,” he said. “And I’ve got my favorites already.”

UCHealth partnered with Rendever, a Boston-based company that originally created its programs and equipment for long-term care facilities. The equipment includes a set of goggles that fit a Samsung smartphone. The phone is linked to a tablet, which controls the program. Participants can choose from games or different short videos — such as swimming with dolphins — or they can even drop themselves into their old neighborhood in a Google-Maps-like experience.

Kler likes the farm sanctuary video — a favorite among most participants, who have commented on liking everything from the “goats that jump in my lap” to the video’s “happy ending.”

Participants can take a helicopter flight over Dubai, lounge with seals, or sit in the audience of a symphony. There are even localized materials including cycling through the mountains or touring Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

This article was first published in October 2018 at UCHealth Today. Read more inspiring articles and health care news at