The trick to the theme answers: Adding the letters “BLE” to one of the words in a familiar phrase = wackiness.
22A. Falter while imitating Jay-Z? = BumBLE Rap
24A. Something thrown in “Wesst Side Story”? = RumBLE Punch
36A. Sing high notes? = WarBLE on Drugs
54A. Cry uupon arriving at an earthquake zoone? = There’s the RubBLE
77A. What the turnover-prone football player had? = Dropping TrouBLE
92A. Shenanigans at the royal court? = NoBLE Nonsense
110A. Nickname for a hard-to-understand monarch? = Queen MumBLE
114A. Lens cover for a giant gelescope? = HubBLE Cap
In the “learning something new” category:
30A. Trick-taking game. Answer: Belot. Acc. to Wiki, it’s also known as Bridge Belot, a French card game.
108A. He wrote, “Knowledge is the food of the soul.” Answer: Plato
3D. Source of the words “mulligatawny” and “catamaran.” Answer: Tamil
15D. “Giovanna d’____” (Verdi opera). Answer: Arco
53D. “The Magic Flute” protagonist. Answer: Tamino
76D. Burkina ____. Answer: Faso. Again via Wiki, a landlocked country in West Africa.
79D. Mythical elixir of forgetfulness. Answer: Nepenthe