Daniel Beeman grew up just outside of Omaha, Nebraska and went to college in Kansas City. In 2015, he left behind a lifetime of competitive swimming and moved to New York to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. During his first week in town, Daniel went to see a new Broadway production. He left the theater laughing and loving the show.
That show was called Something Rotten! It was written by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick — two brothers who wrote a musical about two brothers writing a musical — and it received 10 Tony nominations! Currently on tour, the two and a half hour production will be at Philadelphia’s famed Academy of Music from Tuesday, February 27 to Sunday, March 4.
“My dad has been a swim coach since 1970, so swimming is just something that’s in my blood. Actually, I’ve been on a swim team longer than I’ve been singing,” Daniel laughed. “But after high school, that was the end of it for me. I was in the pool at 5 a.m., I went to school, then I was back in the pool from 3 to 6 p.m. At the time, I was also in all the choirs and show choirs, so I’d be out performing till 9 p.m. Then, I’d come home and do it all again the next day. I really don’t know how I survived! My dad continues to coach and he still texts me from meets giving me the play-by-play of what’s happening.”
“I saw Something Rotten! the week I moved to New York,” Daniel recalled. “It was back in 2015 and I remember when I was leaving the theater, I was still laughing. I loved the show, but at the time, I didn’t necessarily see myself in it
That was likely because most of the work that Daniel had done up until that point had been in dramatic shows like Les Misérables or Sunday in the Park with George. Still, the show must have made a subconscious connection with him because a few months later, when they were having auditions for replacements for the New York company, Daniel went in. Then, when they announced a tour, he tried again. This time, he got in.
“I auditioned for this tour back in August 2016 — only a few months before rehearsal started in December of that year,” Daniel informed. “My agent sent me out on an appointment to do a dance call. It was me and hundreds of other people and we were all auditioning for this one show. I did a tap combination and I sang on that first day. About a week later, I went back in and I did some of the understudy scenes and songs with our associate director.”
Eventually, Daniel worked his way up the ranks through the audition process to wind up at a final callback with Casey Nicholaw (director), Kevin McCollum (producer), Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick (writers), and several other members of the creative team. Once again, he performed a tap combination and sang. The very next day — three weeks after his initial audition — Daniel received the call that informed him he had two months to put his life together before beginning rehearsals.
“This is the first comedy that I’ve been a part of and I’m starting to realize that I like comedy a lot more than I thought,” Daniel revealed. “My background includes a lot of choral singing and old school operatic music, that’s where most of my training comes from, but this has been such a nice change. I feel like I’m finding my niche!”
Daniel is part of the ensemble, but he is also the understudy for Adam Pascal’s Shakespeare. Entertaining Options wondered what it was like finding out that day which role you would be playing mere hours later.
“When you get that text at 10 a.m. saying you’re going on that night, there’s always a little bit of adrenaline that kicks in,” Daniel replied. “I’m lucky because I’m also one of Shakespeare’s backup dancers, so anytime that Adam Pascal (Shakespeare) is on stage, I’m there too. Pretty much, every performance is a rehearsal for me because I’m always in the scene and I’m always aware of where Adam is standing, what line he’s saying, and what note he’s singing. It’s like a constant rehearsal. So, whenever I get that text in the morning, I feel ready. But definitely, when you find out that you’re going on, your excitement kind of bubbles. Especially for such a fun role! Adam sings his heart out on that music! He gets to be this pompous, aloof rock star. It’s just such a fun role!”
Whether Daniel is performing in the ensemble or playing Shakespeare, his warm-up remains the same.
“My daily routine doesn’t change much,” he confirmed. “To warm up my voice, I almost have to get my whole body warm, so I am pretty much at the gym every day. Shakespeare has two big songs and they are loud, they are high, and they are high energy! It’s more of a rock style of singing, so I do have to warm up my voice a little differently. But that’s about it.”
Something Rotten! only premiered a few short years ago. It’s a completely original story featuring original music.
“This is a show for people who love musicals; it’s a show for people who hate musicals. It’s for people who love Shakespeare; it’s for people who hate Shakespeare. The second number in the show is called ‘God, I Hate Shakespeare,’ and Rob McClure, who is our lead, has said that when he sings that song, he can feel the audience take a deep sigh of relief: ‘Oh, this is the kind of night we’re in for.’ There’s tap dancing, beautiful costumes, and catchy music. It’s fun to do something that is so new that we’re only the second round of people to be doing it. The thing we hear at the stage door the most is, ‘I had no idea what this show was going to be about and I’ve never heard any of these songs before, but it’s easily one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen! When you come, expect to laugh and be entertained. It’s such a fun night of theater.”
Something Rotten! opens on Tuesday, February 27 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. [Tickets available HERE.] The dates and times are as follows:
Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 4 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.