It’s been a while. Given that our show was roughly two weeks ago, you might say this post is a little bit late, but I would respond by telling you that I recently received a belated birthday present from a family friend and it was awesome. Especially because my birthday is in August. So, happy belated hip-hopera in Hotung post to you.
Yet again, we had a show that was better than I ever could have dreamed. Rumor has it that Hotung Café filled up with over one hundred and eighty fans, and let me tell you, they were rowdy. I didn’t really know what to expect when Nick Andre (our outstanding sound engineer/DJ, who, like Alison, is only a freshman!!! We love to cultivate young talent) sounded off the trumpets to begin the show. I had hidden myself in the back corner of the café with my cloak, or what contemporary citizens might refer to as a “sweatshirt,” over my head so that I looked like a jedi. Or a sith? Either way, I felt sly.
When the trumpets were blown, I whipped around, began rapping vehemently and pushed my way through the crowd, which, as I had hoped for, was very confused. By the time I got to the stage, which was really just an open circle on the floor, I’d finished my first verse and the crowd was making loud noises of excitement. Granted, it was 11:45 pm at a college campus on a Friday night, so I can’t be 100% sure that their gregariousness was entirely due to my rapping, but I’m going to tell myself it was.
Next thing we knew, Telly (Horatio in HHH) was rapping from the balcony of the café and he and I got into a nice back and forth. I dropped the last line of our duet and then Alison dropped the Hamlet the Hip-Hopera banner from the balcony. And then the real fun began. The place was electric. The rest of the cast came on stage and formed a semi-circle around me and Telly as we launched into our next song “What Would You Do?”
The rest of the show was bonkers. Have you ever been at a party when you notice a couple of people in the corner beatboxing and freestyling?
- If not, go to a party with Telly. It will change your life.
- If yes, picture that, but instead of a circle of four or five people, there are two hundred. And they are screaming and singing your lyrics, and you’re not quite sure how they know your lyrics, but they do and it is—well, I really don’t know how to describe it, besides that I just let the energy of the entire scene take over. Lights. Cheers. Lots of jumping. And everybody rapping about Hamlet. That’s a beautiful thing.
One of the best things about the show was how much the cast took the creation of it into their own hands. Nearly everyone wrote a new song that was performed in the show and I was pleasantly astonished by their rap writing abilities. Exemplary of that was our director John-Michael Sequeira, who stepped in as none other than Fortinbras and shut the house down with his final verse. I don’t know much about concerts, but when somebody hollers “Fortinbras ain’t watchin’, he’s takin’ the throne,” throws his mic down, stomps out of the building and everyone goes macadamia, I’m pretty sure that show gets filed under “success.” Something tells me this is gonna have to happen again.