The Q Brothers are a pair of actual brothers from the North Side who've carved out an unlikely niche: They turn Shakespeare plays into hip-hop musicals, thereby managing to horrify both Shakespeare aficianadoes and hip-hop fans. And yet — speaking from the Shakespeare side, at least — it absolutely works. The Brothers' verbal and physical inventiveness, coupled with complete understanding of the plays, made The Bomb-itty of Errors and Funk It Up About Nuthin' not just fun but faithful to the originals in every way that matters.
Now they take on another classic that could use a good shaking-up: Charles Dickens' nearly exhausted A Christmas Carol. While it's still a work in progress, the Brothers are spicing up this year's holidays by sharing their reinvention of the work we think we all know. The audience will sit safe and warm in the choir lofts of the Pritzker Pavilion stage and see what new changes can be rung on the familiar story. Believer me, if there are any changes left, the Qs will find them! Tickets are free, but RSVPs are strongly recommended. To RSVP, please contact email@example.com. And when that's over . . .
The Second City That Never Sleeps, a benefit for Onward Neighborhood House, Tuesday (the 18th) at 6 pm at The Second City e.t.c. Theatre, 1608 North Wells, 2nd floor; 312-337-3992; tickets $20 at the door throughout the 24-hour event.
The Second City may be a for-profit company (unlike most Chicago theaters) but its heart is apparently in the nonprofit world. For 24 hours beginning Tuesday evening, Second City company members, alumni and friends will present improv, music, stand-up comedy and even an interview with political stats maven (and University of Chicago graduate) Nate Silver. Proceeds will benefit Onward Neighborhood House, a broad-spectrum social service agency (or what Jane Addams would have called a settlement house). If you can't imagine rising and shining to see Fred Armisen perform at 1:30 in the morning, there are plenty of offerings at reasonable hours, including Jeff Tweedy at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the aforementioned Nate Silver at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and others too numerous to mention: find details on the Second City That Never Sleeps Facebook event page.