A fresh urban take on a story as old skool as love itself, and complete with a live DJ, B-boys and girls, MCs and divas, Funk It Up About Nothin’ is more than a rom-com street party with bangin’ bass. It's an outrageous “hip-hoptation” based on the Bard’s classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Whether you’re looking for a great night of hip hop or a new way to think about Shakespeare, Funk It Up About Nothin’ delivers an intense, high energy story like no other.
Recommended for mature audiences (contains adult language)
Approximate Running Time: 70 minutes (no intermission)
The Chicago engagement of Funk It Up About Nothin' is presented in The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater.
International hip-hop superstars MC Don Pedro and his crew emerge victorious from their long tour with a record number of rap battles, and accept an invitation to chill out at the mansion of the mad rich Leonato. When MC Claudio and Leonato's daughter Hero lay eyes on each other, it's love at first sight. Playboy MC Benedick and Hero's cousin Lady B engage in battles of wits and swear off love . . . but not if Don Pedro and the rest of the crew can convince them otherwise. Don Pedro's bastard brother Don John schemes to funk it all up and mess with everybody's fun. With a live DJ spinning some truck-thumpin' beats, Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing is transformed into a hip-hop celebration of language, love and laughter.
A Scholar's Perspective by James Braxton Peterson
James Braxton Peterson examines the affinities between the works of Shakespeare and the inexhaustible reservoir of poetic folk culture in hip-hop.
A Beginner’s Guide to Hip-Hop History
Hip-hop is the sound and look of a generation that has spread throughout the world from it creation in the Bronx in the early 1980s.
The Q Brothers
Check out the Q Brothers on their MySpace page, and learn more about GQ and JQ.
Kool Herc, the first hip-hop DJ
Listen to an interview by Terry Gross with Kool Herc on NPR’s Fresh Air.
Rapper’s Delight, the first rap recording to make the Top 40
Hip-hop was largely an underground, live phenomenon until The Sugarhill Gang released Rapper’s Delight in 1979. See a live performance on You Tube.
The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Early hip-hop was party music, but it soon developed political content. The Message includes some of the first recorded raps about the struggles of living in the ghetto. You can see an excerpt of the video on You Tube.
Much Ado About Nothing, Full Text
A public domain text of Shakespeare’s original play based upon an 1866 edition. You can read or print the play by scene or in its entirety.
Much Ado About Nothing, First Folio Edition
The first Folio is the first published collection of Shakespeare's plays. Printed seven years after his death, it was compiled by friends of Shakespeare and members of the acting troupe with whom he worked.
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
An excellent place to begin your World Wide Web exploration of Shakespeare. From the latest news in scholarship and performance to historical context of Shakespeare's life and his contemporaries, this site covers the basics of many arenas of inquiry and can point you in the right direction to take your exploration further.
See who’s who among the actors.
Learn more about brothers GQ and JQ.
The Creative Team
See who’s who on the creative team—including the designers and other artists who contribute to the creation of the world of the play.
Learn more about the producing team behind the Australian tour of Funk It Up About Nothin&rsquo.