Friday December 15th 2017

“A Q Brothers Christmas Carol”

Several years ago, after seeing one “holiday” ( I heard we are not supposed to refer to them as Christmas, hah, hah!) show, I wondered what it would be like to see a classic, but spoofed. Then, an amazing thing happened. Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier announced that the very zany Q Brothers, who had done some of Shakespeare’s works as “Hip-Hop”, were comin’ to town to bring us their very new version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. These four men and their DJ, Kieran Pereira (new to the company) are very creative and talented men, who can take a classic serious play with a very dreary story line ( although, as we all know, there is a happy ending) and make an audience have a ball for 90 minutes ( no intermission)!

Scrooge is handled by GQ, who along with his brother JQ were the original idea guys and their two partners-in-crime, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle are the creators of the show, tweaking the original manuscript to fit their individual talents and each ( with the exception of  GQ) taking on a myriad of roles, male and female, no problem! The score is fun featuring all different types of music from reggae to epic rock to dance hall music, rapid Hip-Hop and even some rock ballads. The score was all written by JQ and the two brothers ( the actual brothers, JQ and GQ) are the directors of this quickly paced comedy! Choreography is by Anacron ( oh, what the heck, do we really need real names?).

Watching these men change characters with a wig or a scarf is amazing. Their voices change as does their demeanor. For example, JQ plays Marley, Marley’s ghost, Belle, Lil’ Tim ( their version of Tiny Tim- easier to rhyme, I guess). Jackson plays nephew Fred, Mama Cratchit, Dick Wilkins and the incredible Pringle plays two parts in one scene and talks for them both- a treat to watch- wow!

Now that the new theater is open at Navy Pier, the dynamic “Yard” where the Pepsi Skyline used to live, they have moved this production from the studio on the 6th floor to the newest of theaters in Chicago. The Yard can be transformed to fit any production and the way this one fits makes us feel that this was a great addition to the already brilliant venue at Navy Pier. It is now an indoor theater with walls and a ceiling, but it can be utilized in different ways for each production, thus the term, Black Box. For this production, they have arranged the floor in rows of seats and tables of four, giving us the intimate night club feeling. The balconies look right onto the stage as well. To add to the “party” feeling, they have added bars in the theater as well as in the outer lobby, so coming early is great fun. Have that first drink while you meet your neighbors and the, right before show-time, get the refill to last the whole show through. By the way, after the show, the bar in the lobby is open and the Q Brothers will come out to say hello and sign a program or two.

The tech aspects of the production are as much fun as the show itself. Great lighting effects ( Jesse Klug), incredible sound (Palmer Jankens, and kudos to the DJ , as well), and costumes and set (Scott Davis). Melissa Veal designed the make-up and the wigs for these men and their characters- most of it silly, but the whole show is geared to have fun and feel as if you are at a party , not a Dickens play! “A Q Brothers Christmas Carol will play through December 31st ( Happy New Year) with a schedule as follows:

Fri, Dec 1: 7:30pm
Sat, Dec 2: 6:00pm & 8:30pm
Sun, Dec 3: 3:00pm & 6:00pm
Wed, Dec 6: 7:30pm
Thu, Dec 7: 7:30pm
Fri, Dec 8: 7:30pm
Sat, Dec 9: 6:00pm & 8:30pm
Sun, Dec 10: 3:00pm & 6:00pm
Tue, Dec 12: 7:30pm
Wed, Dec 13: 7:30pm
Thu, Dec 14: 7:30pm
Fri, Dec 15: 7:30pm
Sat, Dec 16: 6:00pm & 8:30pm
Sun, Dec 17: 3:00pm & 6:00pm
Tue, Dec 19: 7:30pm
Wed, Dec 20: 7:30pm
Thu, Dec 21: 7:30pm
Fri, Dec 22: 7:30pm
Sat, Dec 23: 6:00pm & 8:30pm
Sun, Dec 24: 3:00pm
Tue, Dec 26: 7:30pm
Wed, Dec 27: 7:30pm
Thu, Dec 28: 7:30pm
Fri, Dec 29: 7:30pm
Sat, Dec 30: 6:00pm & 8:30pm
Sun, Dec 31: 3:00pm & 7:30pm

 


Price: $30-$52

Stage: The Yard

Show Type: Performance Art

Box Office: 312-595-5600

www.chicagoshakes.com

Navy Pier is where it is at and do not forget to bring your parking ticket to the theater for validation ( $19.60 )

There is a lot to do at Navy Pier, the showplace of Chicago and of course all kinds of dining is available. Public transportation can get you there as well.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “A Q Brothers Christmas Carol”

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

 

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