“Q Brothers Christmas Carol” returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater Nov. 20

Photo by Liz Lauren

Chicago Shakespeare Theater  announces the highly anticipated return of the raucous and irreverent holiday tradition Q Brothers Christmas Carol to The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, November 20–December 30, 2018. Created by hip-hop sensations the Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, and Pos) and developed with Creative Producer Rick Boynton, this wildly popular reinterpretation of the perennial favorite by Charles Dickens is underscored with beats spun live at the turntables, mashing up styles from reggae and dancehall music, to dubstep and epic rock ballads. John Hoogenakker, now featured in Amazon’s runaway hit series Jack Ryan, takes on the role of Scrooge for a special limited engagement during the run.

Now in its fifth year, the production enjoys a fervent fan following, and has garnered Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Ensemble. Strewn with more than two miles of twinkling lights, The Yard is again transformed into a festive nightclub, giving audiences the opportunity to sit at cabaret tables surrounding the stage, or in traditional theater seating.

John Hoogenakker makes a special appearance as the miserly crank Scrooge in a limited engagement through December 9. Hoogenakker is currently starring in Amazon’s high-octane drama Jack Ryan as Black Ops agent Matice opposite John Krasinski in the title role—and has recently gained viral fame appearing in a commercial campaign with Bud Light as the Bud Light King, introducing the nonsensical phrase “Dilly Dilly” into the cultural lexicon. A Chicago theater veteran, Hoogenakker returns to Chicago Shakespeare for his sixth production, previously appearing in Othello (2008), Much Ado About Nothing (2005) and Romeo and Juliet (2005). He previously joined the Q Brothers in their signature production of The Bombitty of Errors at Chicago Shakespeare in 2002, rapping the roles of Antipholus of Ephesus, Adrianna, and Bobby. He has also performed at Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre and Steppenwolf.

For this year’s production of Q Brothers Christmas Carol, Hoogenakker joins the original cast, comprised of members of the Q Brothers Collective: JQ (Marley/Belle/Present/Lil’ Tim), Jax(Fred/Dick Wilkins/Mama Cratchit), and Pos (Bob Cratchit/Past/Martha Cratchit). Kieran Pereira returns as DJ. GQ will reunite with the company as Scrooge for the remainder of the run, through December 30.

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, Jackson Doran, and Postell Pringle with music by JQ. A Chicago Shakespeare production, Q Brothers Christmas Carol is presented by CST and Richard Jordan Productions.

For more information, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/qchristmas.

Q Brothers Christmas Carol is presented in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, November 20–December 30, 2018. Single tickets ($30-$52) are on sale now. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets for patrons under 35. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for Q Brothers Christmas Carol include:

  • Audio Description – Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Open Captioning – Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be—a company that defies theatrical category. This Regional Tony Award-winning theater’s year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances—including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. Chicago Shakespeare is the city’s leading producer of international work, and has toured its own productions across five continents. The Theater’s nationally acclaimed arts in literacy programs support the work of teachers, and bring Shakespeare to life on stage for tens of thousands of students annually. Each summer, the company tours a free professional production to neighborhood parks across Chicago. In 2017 the Theater unveiled The Yard, which, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as Chicago’s most versatile performing arts center.