Shakespeare Takes the Rap

MC Hendelberg, an Orthodox goldsmith in a puffy parka and payess, asks Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus the riddle of the sphinc. (Yes, the sphinc.) Frustrated, the two brothers reply:

"You and your riddles always leave me stumped/Like the celibate camel that never got humped/Or the barren carpet that never got shagged/Or the prude ear of corn that never got shucked/Or the girl with big funbags that never got—OKAY!"

Shakespeare they're not, but the four writer-performers of The Bomb-itty of Errors (45 Bleecker) rap their take on Willy's Comedy with enviable wit and panache. The infectious energy and populist appeal of their show should have MC Stratford-on-Avon spinning in his grave.

Originally a thesis project by several students of NYU's Experimental Theater Wing, the plot of this "add-rap-tation" runs close by the original. In The Bomb-itty, two sets of identical twins—one named Antipholus the other Dromio—get split up in foster care. One A and D set land in Syracuse, the other in Ephesus. When, many years later, the Syracuse pair elect to stroll through their brothers' city, a case of mistaken identity occurs—and recurs and recurs.

Backed by DJ J.A.Q., who functions like a Greek chorus with a turntable, the actors speak almost entirely in rhymed verse. The playful language complements the volatile physicality of director Andy Golberg's production—the show deploys every cheap shot and slapstick move imaginable: bearded men in drag, Three Stooges beatdowns, impotency jokes, yo' mama routines. There's even a sports nunnery. Sure, the endless stream of stylistic quotations and musical pastiche reads pomo derivative, but, as one character remarks, "It's mad catchy."

My Voice Nation Help
New York Concert Tickets