From the co-creators of the international hit The Bomb-itty of Errors
FUNK IT UP ABOUT NOTHIN'
The "ad-rap-tation" of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
June 25 - August 3, 2008
ChicagoJune 30, 2008Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), recent recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, kicks off the summer with the world premiere of Funk It Up About Nothin'. The "ad-rap-tation" of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing comes from the minds and rhymes behind the international success The Bomb-itty of Errors. GQ and JQ (aka the Q Brothers) transform the Bard's romantic comedy into an exuberant hip-hop extravaganza, rapped to the rhythm of six MCs and a live DJ. Performances are scheduled now through August 3, 2008, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or by visiting the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com/funkitup. After its summer run on Navy Pier, the show will be featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
Since the success of their international hit The Bomb-itty of Errors, seen onstage at CST in 2002, GQ and JQ have committed themselves to translating the complete works of William Shakespeare into the hip-hop idiom. Over the past year, The Q Brothers have collaborated with CST Creative Producer Rick Boynton in a series of workshops to tackle another from Shakespeare's canon. Funk It Up About Nothin' arrives this summer Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare for a six-week run.
Born and raised in Chicago, The Q Brothers started their professional careers in the Off Broadway hit The Bomb-itty of Errors. G and three of his friends, who were studying at New York University's Experimental Theatre Wing, adapted Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors into modern rhyme while J made the beats. G's screen credits include the movies Drumline, What's the Worst That Could Happen, and Rescue Dawn starring Christian Bale. Along with other Bomb-itty guys, the twosome wrote and starred in a hip-hop/sketch comedy TV show for MTV, Scratch and Burn, which has become a cult classic. J has produced a solo hip-hop album entitled Foul Mouth Poet under his moniker J.A.Q. He produced the Grommits album Smashing and toured the country with them in 2004. He is now the lead singer of Them vs. Them, a new rock band out of Chicago. The Brothers last came together once for The Feel Good Album of the Year—an uncategorizable album crossing heavily into jazz, rock, R&B, and electronica.
After its summer run on Navy Pier, Chicago Shakespeare presents Funk It Up About Nothin' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. The cast will perform for three weeks in August alongside 17,000 other artists from around the globe. The Fringe Festival began in 1947 and now is one of the world's largest theatrical celebrations welcoming over 1.6 million audience members annually.
The cast of Funk It Up About Nothin' features creators/directors GQ as Leonato, Don John and Dingleberry; and JQ as Benedick and Borachio. The cast is completed by Jackson Doran as Claudio and the Judge; Elizabeth Ledo as Hero and Lil Boi; Postell Pringle as Don Pedro and Verges; Ericka Ratcliff as Beatrice and Big John; and Adrienne Sanchez as DJ.
The design team for Funk It Up About Nothin' includes set design by Brian Sidney Bembridge; costume design by Debbie Baer; lighting design by Ryan Davies; and wig and make-up design by Melissa Veal.
Funk It Up About Nothin' contains adult language and is recommended for mature audiences.
Performances are at 7:00 p.m. (Wednesday – Thursday); 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. (Friday – Saturday); and 2:30 p.m. (Sunday). Tickets are $25 for weekdays (Wednesday – Thursday), and $30 for weekends (Friday – Sunday). For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com/funkitup.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Programming Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.