A reworking of the popular Scrooge tale stars center stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
"Q Brothers Christmas Carol," continuing through Dec. 31 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, is an energetic hip-hop rendition of the holiday classic.
The show, performed by Q Brothers Collective, is directed and created by brothers GQ and JQ. The Collective ensemble also stars Jax and Pos. GQ stars as Scrooge and JQ stars as Marley, Belle, the Present and Lil' Tim in the production.
"Q Brothers Christmas Carol" is a show that draws audience members in with its creativity, detailed rap verses and comedic characterizations. It's quite interesting and humorous to watch as only four people perform a number of characters.
The story follows the original Dickins' classic but adds music to the mix and veers off on various tangents, which have audience members roaring at their seats. It's also fascinating to hear JQ rap his lines quickly. Audience members still can understand every word he says although he's rapping at rapid fire speed.
The show, which played Chicago Shakespeare a few years ago and was highly praised, features a musical mash-up of styles from rock and reggae to dance hall music. DJ Kieran Pereira spins the tunes and beats while the quartet performs the show.
"Q Brothers Christmas Carol" won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Ensemble. The brothers first showcased their witty way with reworking classic stories when they brought "The Bomb-Itty of Errors" to Chicago's Royal George Theatre in 2001.
In this current production in Shakespeare Theater's The Yard, which is a new theatrical space, the stage and theater itself are transformed into a nightclub setting with traditional theater seats and cabaret table seating.
For a different take on a holiday favorite and a playful night out at the theater, make a date with the Q Brothers.
FYI: "Q Brothers Christmas Carol" continues through Dec. 31 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, Chicago. Tickets range from $30 to $52. Call 312-595-5600 or visit chicagoshakes.com.