Chicago rap show London-bound

February 11, 2011

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s rap hit, “Funk It Up About Nothin,” is adding a month in London to its international touring schedule. Written and directed by Chicago- based brothers GQ and JQ (who also perform in it), the breezy, rapid-fire condensation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” already has been performed in New York and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since CST and the two Q’s first rolled it out in 2008.

The show’s return visit to CST closes this Sunday (Feb. 13) in preparation for a five-week tour of Australia announced some months ago. The new news is that “Funk It Up” will go immediately to London for a month-long run (April 6-May 7) at the historic Theatre Royal, Stratford East, in London’s richly multi-cultural East End. A half- century ago, the Theatre Royal was home to director Joan Littlewood and her working class Theatre Workshop, famous for developing the anti-war musical revue “Oh, What a Lovely War,” which went on to enjoy enormous success in London’s West End and on Broadway.

With “Funk It Up About Nothin” Chicago Shakespeare Theater now can claim to have developed a truly international stage success.