Review: “Othello: The Remix” at the Westside Theatre
OnStage New York Critic
Shakespeare’s “Othello” gets an energetic retelling set in the present day music industry. MC Othello (Postell Pringle) marries angel-voiced Desdemona and releases pop rapper Cassio’s (Jackson Doran) album before Iago’s (GQ). This veteran feels betrayed and turns the newlyweds against each other, resulting in a murder.
The Q Brothers effortlessly turn all dialogue into hip-hop rhymes that leave you tapping your feet and clapping your hands for the entire 80-minute run. “Othello: The Remix” takes a humorous turn whenever the performers slip into their apron-like costumes and become the supporting characters. The references to Jay-Z and “Dungeons and Dragons” also get laughs from the audience, but comedy isn’t the Q Brothers’ strength.
Eliminating Desdemona as an onstage character gives the audience the power to imagine her interaction with Othello and her agonizing death—the most powerful scene in the show. A alluring voiceover, DJ Supernova’s slick tracks, and the pillow Othello uses to suffocate her more than compensate for her absence.
The cast looks like they’re enjoying themselves from beginning to end and so is the generationally and ethnically diverse audience. “Othello: The Remix” proves that clever new inventions can still come from Shakespeare’s works. See “Othello: The Remix” at the Westside Theatre before it closes on January 15, 2017!
Photo: Jackson Doran in The Q Brothers’ Othello: The Remix (Michael Brosilow)