GQ and JQ (aka the Q Brothers) are taking the Chicago Shakespeare Theater stage this summer with “Funk It Up About Nothin’,” their “ad-rap-tation” of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Right off the heels of their international hit “The Bomb-itty of Errors,” “Funk It Up” is next in their ongoing attempt to translating the complete works of Shakes into the hip-hop idiom. I did not see their previous show, but if the current one is any indication, I am very grateful for that. I understand the impetus to marry the classical text with the hip-hop genre. The problem is the show does not feel authentically either. Instead of using the music to make what is great about Shakespeare accessible, namely the words and meter, it merely takes the plot and sets it to beats that come off more cute than anything else. There is also a healthy dose of cheap gay jokes and profanity that dilutes the family friendliness they seemed to be going for in the costumes, set and performance style. I love this idea on paper, but if you are a true proponent for Shakespeare or hip-hop you will want to stay away. (William Scott)
At the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand, (312)595-5600. Wed-Fri 7pm/Sat 7pm & 9:30pm/Sun 2:30pm. Through Aug 3.