Q Brothers

"Q Brothers Christmas Carol" runs through Dec. 31 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.


A creative, hip-hop version of a classic holiday tale is playing out on stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

"Q Brothers Christmas Carol" continues through Dec. 31 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare.

"This is our first time performing in The Yard," said GQ, who is co-creator and director of "Q Brothers Christmas Carol," which he created with his brother JQ. GQ stars as Scrooge while JQ stars as Marley, Belle, the Present and Lil' Tim.

"It's quite spectacular," GQ said about The Yard. "It's unlike any place we've ever seen before, let alone performed in."

About the tale of "A Christmas Carol," JQ called the story a definite "classic."

"The story (and the themes in the show) stand the test of time," JQ added. "There are unusual themes to play with and we're (transforming) an old story but making it our own."

The unique, humorous production, which was written and is performed by Q Brothers Collective, which is GQ, JQ, Jax and Pos, is directed by GQ and JQ.

The show features a musical mash-up of styles from rock and reggae to dance hall music. The production garnered much attention from audiences the last time it played Chicago Shakespeare a few years ago.

"Q Brothers Christmas Carol" won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Ensemble.

The Q Brothers came up with their first theatrical project in the late '90s. Chicagoans were exposed to the brothers' unique spin on classics when they brought their "The Bomb-Itty of Errors" to Chicago's Royal George Theatre in 2001.

JQ said when they embark on a project re-envisioning the classics, one of the challenges of creating a work is to try to "understand the language of the original author and the times during which that author was writing."

When putting a new spin on another work, the brothers said one must stay true to the base of the story while doing one's own interpretation.

"I hope audiences leave (the show) feeling (happier) and more full of joy than when they came in," said GQ.

In this rendition of  "Christmas Carol," holiday fans will get the opportunity to enjoy the show in a cabaret setting in The Yard. Audience members can sit at tables or in traditional theater seats.

Bars and other seating areas will be available for people to enjoy the setting in a nightclub-type atmosphere after the show as well.

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Features reporter

Eloise writes about food and entertainment for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight children in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.