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  • Ashley Cimarolli

Something Rotten Wafts Over Iowa City while The Last of Us Becomes Nonfiction


Pedro Pascal in front of Something Rotten cast.

As the lights dimmed and I wiggled in my seat with glee at Thursday night’s showing of the global smash hit, University of Iowa’s production of Something Rotten, little did I know something indeed was rotten and I’d have to smell it for the next two and a half hours.


As soon as the lights dimmed, it was clear something utterly inhumane was at work as people perked up, sniffing the musty air. So inhumane in fact that the room smelled eerily similar to a shower-less Benedict Cumberbatch method-acting for The Power of the Dog. This had to have been the work of some serious B.O..


After the show, an anonymous theater go-er was quoted saying, “At first I thought the smell was me, but when I smelled my pits, they weren’t all that bad.”


Unfortunately for this theater-goer, they were all that bad, but not bad enough to cause the rotten smell wafting through the theater.


Because of my spider-like senses for a good story—I am a professional reporter after all—I went to track the smell. Armed with only my nose to guide me, I winded up backstage, in the rafters of the theater. The smell was shocking, though not as shocking as the lack of security, as I simply walked up to the ceiling withouta roadblock in sight.


I was met with one of the most foul stenches ever imaginable as I approached a raggedy-looking man-like person seated on the rafters enjoying the show. I felt bad covering my face, until I looked down and saw a child run out of the theater, covering his nose and crying. It was too much for him.


Upon interviewing the smelly subject, I found out that the real rotten something was this man Chuck who was convinced he was a zombie. He said, and I quote, “The fungus took over. I may only have minutes of sanity.”


I was quick to dismiss this as another stinky avid fan of The Last of Us, hoping for Pedro Pascal to come parent him, until Chuck lurched at me and gave me a bite right on the hand. Flattered by the flirtation, I simply thanked him and rejected him as I marched away from the rafters. I just can’t be seen with someone so smelly, nothing personal though.


I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of Something Rotten. Although the stench had cleared most people out, I put a Clorox wipe up my nose and that did just the trick!


It’s been 12 hours since the bite and I am beginning to feel strange. I’ve begun clicking? And there’s fungus on my head? I am not worried.


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