From the minds and rhymes behind The Bomb-itty of Errors comes a new “ad-rap-tation” of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The Q Brothers transform the Bard’s romantic comedy into an exuberant hip-hop extravaganza, rapped to the rhythm of six MCs and a DJ.
Recommended for mature audiences (contains adult language)
Approximate Running Time: 65 minutes (no intermission)
"Irresistibly irreverent... crisp storytelling, wit and endearing performances!"
"Must see! Shakespeare's words filtered through hip-hop and rap with equally delightful results."
" – I defy you to go and come out without a gigantic grin on your face."
–Time Out London
"Wildly energetic and likably clever!"
"A bawdy and fun remix!"
The Chicago engagement of Funk It Up About Nothin' was 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.
The Q Brothers (Creators) are GQ and JQ. Born and raised in Chicago, they started their professional careers in the Off Broadway smash 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 and J made the beats. In performance, G played multiple characters and J was the live DJ. G's screen credits include the movies Drumline, What's the Worst That Could Happen, and Rescue Dawn starring Christian Bale and directed by Werner Herzog. Along with other Bomb-itty guys, the twosome wrote and starred in their own hip-hop/sketch comedy TV show for MTV, Scratch and Burn, which has become something of a cult classic to young people everywhere. During trailer time on these projects, G worked on a movie script and Showtime gave him the money to shoot Just Another Story, a film he wrote, directed and stared in. J, his trusty sidekick, once again held down the audio end, providing the score and the original soundtrack for the film. It was featured in the Tribeca Film Festival and the Hamptons Film Festival, has aired on Showtime, and is widely available on DVD. G has also had prominent roles on Boston Public and co-starred in Johnny Zero, another Fox one-hour drama. 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 came together once again for The Feel Good Album of the Year. Crossing heavily into jazz, rock, R&B, and electronica, the uncategorizable hip hop album follows only one rule: it has to be fun.