Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents OTHELLO: THE REMIX. Othello is a big time rapper. He meets and marries an aspiring singer, Desdemona. She becomes his muse and he becomes in even bigger celebrity. His homeboy Iago gets jealous. Then, when Othello promotes the up-and-comer Cassio as his new opening act. Iago gets ruthless. Iago decides to sabotage Othello’s relationship and Cassio’s career. He executes an intricate plan to make Othello believe Cassio is screwing Desdemona. OTHELLO: THE REMIX is rapped perfectly for an appealing package of a classic.
The Q Brothers were commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater to create a hip-hop adaptation of the Bard’s tragedy, “Othello.” The show had its world premiere in London at Shakespeare’s Globe. The 2012 Globe to Globe event produced all 37 Shakespeare’s plays in 37 languages. The Q Brothers, with their unique flair for storytelling (the successful hits “Funk it up about Nothing” and “Bomb-itty of Errors”), secured the opportunity to represent Chicago Shakes and the USA during the international Shakespearean marathon. Their chosen language was hip hop.
OTHELLO: THE REMIX is in one word… brilliant! The Q Brothers create, direct, and star in this four-man plus a DJ show. The drama is there harmonized with comedy. The cross-dressing cast play various characters in this concise and contemporary version. This show has everything! Topical humor is worked into the ongoing lyrical verse. Songs, including ‘It’s a man world‘, bring playful and profound moments. It’s like your snarkiest thoughts set to an upbeat tune that wiggles and glides. The slick choreography on stage is subtly mimicked by the DJ in the booth, wigs and all.
And it’s not just clever word puns and snazzy break dancing. The sequence around Othello’s confrontation of Desdemona is just POWERFUL! It is done in such flawless synchronization… I’m reduced to tears. This is surprising for a light, frothy, modernization of Shakespeare’s work. The unforgettable scene is this muffled reality of what just transpired. I counted on the mega-talented cast delivering the energetic, quick-paced buffoonery. I was surprised at their ability to halt the vibrant antics to skillfully pierce a dagger into my soul.
Well done, GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran, Postell Pringle and DJ Clayton Stamper. OTHELLO: THE REMIX is to be seen… more than once! It’s that great!
Running Time: One hour and forty minutes with one intermission
At Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand
Written by William Shakespeare
Adapted, directed and music by the Q Brothers with Rick Boynton
Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30pm
EXTENDED AGAIN Thru July 27th
Buy Tickets at www.chicagoshakes.com