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Q Brothers Christmas Carol

Chicago hip hop sensations the Q Brothers Collective heat up the holiday season with Q Brothers Christmas Carol

By Elaine Bowen Hegwood, MSJ

Q Brothers
LIL’ TIM (JQ, at center) pops a move while Mama Cratchit (Jax) and Martha Cratchit (Pos) dance along in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Q Brothers Christmas Carol.”

Chicago Shakespeare Theater recently announced the highly anticipated return of the raucous and irreverent holiday tradition “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” to The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, in a limited engagement November 29–December 23, 2019. Created by Chicago hip hop sensations the Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax and Pos) and developed with Creative Producer Rick Boynton, this wildly entertaining reinterpretation of the Charles Dickens classic mashes up hip hop with contemporary musical styles ranging from reggae and dancehall music, to dubstep and epic rock ballads—all underscored with beats spun live at the turntables by a DJ. While the temperatures drop outside, the festive party atmosphere in The Yard will be heating up with the non-stop energy of this 80-minute hip hop musical.

Fully decked out in the holiday spirit, the Theater is strewn with more than two miles of twinkling lights—bringing joy and wonder to even the most cantankerous Scrooge.

With a cult following of fans in Chicago and beyond, the internationally acclaimed Q Brothers Collective fuses hip hop and theater—adapting classic stories with a wholly original style of performance that has been energizing audiences for more than two decades. Hailed by MTV as “nothing short of brilliant,” they are regular fixtures at music festivals like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. The Q Brothers pioneered the “ad-RAP-tation” concept with their Off-Broadway hit “The  Bombitty of Errors” in 1999. Their award-winning collaborations with Chicago Shakespeare Creative Producer Rick Boynton include “Othello: The Remix”—which premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe and toured to sold-out houses in London, Australia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Off-Broadway in NYC—and “Funk It Up About Nothin’,”which garnered the Jeff Award for Outstanding Ensemble and the Dress Circle Award for Best Musical Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

Q Brothers 2
A RASTAFARIAN JACOB MARLEY (JQ, center) and his crew of reggae spirits (left to right, Jax and Pos) haunt Scrooge.

“Q Brothers Christmas Carol” features the members of the Q Brothers Collective portraying all of the roles in the timeless story: GQ (Scrooge), JQ (Marley/Belle/Present/Lil’ Tim), Jax (Fred/Dick Wilkins/Mama Cratchit), and Pos (Bob Cratchit/ Past/Martha Cratchit). Joining  directors GQ and JQ on the creative team are Scenic and Costume Designer Scott Davis, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug, and original Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal, with Choreography by Anacron. Developed with Rick  Boynton, “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” is written by GQ, JQ, Jax, and Pos with music by JQ. A Chicago Shakespeare production, “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” is presented by CST and Richard Jordan Productions. For more information, visit or engage on social at #QChristmas.

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