Presenting the 2012/2013 Theatre Season: GCTC || OLT || The Gladstone

REVIEW: Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos @ The Ottawa Fringe Festival

Eight plays written by the greatest playwright of all time meet eight hip hop/rap songs by some of the greatest artists of our generation in 411 Dramaturgy Co.’s Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos.

Performer Melanie Karin tells you why you should see Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos

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Hip Hop Shakespeare is a gangsta rap re-interpretation of some of the Bard’s most famous plays, further proving that Shakespeare is the artistic equivalent of chocolate and bacon: there is literally nothing it won’t go with.  The show consists of famous hip hop and rap songs with lyrics changed to tell a Shakespeare play. What’s most intriguing about the show is how well Melanie Karin and David Benedict chose their songs so that very little of the main lyrics needed changing because they fit in perfectly with the subject. You can see Othello retold through Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”. Or Romeo and Juliet sung through “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast.

Their performances were strong, too, with both members of the duo bringing attitude and character to their singing. While in some moments, it felt flat, for the most part they weren’t just singing, they were performing. It’s a pleasure to see some of your favorite Shakespeare plays reimagined through a hip hop lens and sits contentedly at a three — with a plus one for hardcore Shakespeare junkies.

Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

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  1. [...] Kurt and Matthew) Hard Times! Heterollectual: Love, And Other Dumb Ideas (Review by Kurt and Allan) Hip-Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos! + VIDEO (Review by Kurt) I’m Not Crying In The Bathroom: I’m Crying In The Supply [...]

  2. [...] It really is something to think that it all started only two weeks ago. It both seems like both yesterday and ages ago. In between all the vlogging, video editing, and getting coverage online here — and of course that pesky life stuff outside the Fringe bubble — I managed to see 32 of the 52 shows going around. Of the ones I missed, the two I’m most sorry about are; Jeff Leard’s Gametes and Gonads and 411 Dramaturgy’s Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos. [...]

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