What's it about?
Othello: the Remix follows Othello, the best MC to come out of New York as he rises to fame, meanwhile his friend and fellow rapper Iago gets jealous and plots his downfall.
What'd I experience?
I didn't expect that I would get to see this show. Not that I wasn't interested in going or anything, it's just that my chance literally came out of nowhere. I was just sitting at home and my friend randomly texts me saying that she has two tickets and wanted to know if I was down. Obviously I wasn't going to say no to a free show, especially not a hip hop reimagining of Othello.
As soon as I walked into the theatre, the hype began. There was a DJ on stage and he was playing music, until the show began. Everything from throwbacks to stuff like the Life of Pablo in full, which was awesome, but at the same time a little underwhelming because the crowd was a lot of... they weren't really into the music. It didn't stop my friend and I from getting into it and acting up until the show started, but it still gave a... a weird vibe.
As the show began with a message from John Leguizamo, introducing us to the show and telling us to please not record the show, and if we are going to record it, to not be stupid and make it obvious that you are, which I really appreciated. If I'm at concert or something and it's hype as hell, I'm going to want to record or Snap a bit, and this show definitely felt like a concert. They even told us the more hype you show us, the more hype we're going to give you back so act as ignorant as you want, which is the kind of invitation I like to hear. My friend and I screamed back at them, some of the audience took that as invitation to clap for some reason, and some of the other lit people in the back gave out a real New York "YERRRR." Obviously, some of us were more prepared and ready for this type of show.
The story was modernized in a way that honestly made the story make more sense to me. Othello was an aspiring rapper, with Iago and Roderigo by his side. Desdemona was a beautiful, soulful singer, who's voice mixed with Othello's style perfectly and made them fall in love. Once Othello was famous, instead of putting Iago or Roderigo to open for his shows, he put a new up and coming artist, Cassio, with Iago as one of his back up vocalists. This obviously bred jealousy, because your life long friend just chose some random new guy as his #2 while putting you as pretty much a backup dancer. In the original story, I never really understood the hate. Like yeah okay this guy is his second in command now but you're all still soldiers and fighting in the same war and you aren't dying so quit complaining.
The entire show was rapped and rhymed, kind of like how Les Mis goes except instead of being entirely depressed music it was all hip hop. Each character had their own kind of sound to them. Iago and Roderigo had a kind of Beastie Boys vibe, and they even made a reference to them while rapping. Othello had a kind of Biggie vibe to him, which fit the character well since the stories are kind of parallel. Cassio was the poppy, aggravatingly catchy, pretty boy, sound like Justin Bieber or something similar to that, who's big debut song was the "Cassio Slide." Admittedly, the song and dance was actually kind of hype. The only outliers in the group were Desdemona, who gave me an Alicia Keys kind of vibe over Othello's tracks, and Emilia, who sang like the stereotypical powerful independent woman group.
I do have to say that my favorite thing about the show was probably all of the references it was making to other musicians. Every time one would come up, I would just say "OH SHIT IT'S ___" or something like that while nudging or grabbing my friend, making them very annoyed at me. At one point, all of my freaking out even got Othello to point at me and give a "you already know" kind of nod. My favorites had to be during the song that he and Desdemona first made, "Love Like This," and later on talking about Desdemona to Iago, with the two references being Outkast and Chance the Rapper. The first one came when he was bringing all of the instruments together in the song he was writing, and said "yo Donnie, play that trumpet" which caught me completely off guard and made me shove my friend and say "OH SHIT, CHANCE." Yeah I got hit back, but I can't help it, I get excited and Chance the Rapper is one of my favorite artists out there right now. The second reference came when he was talking about Desdemona and said "you kept my Love Below, had me feeling like an Outkast." Once again, big Outkast fan, so I freaked out again, nudged my friend, got punched back, and Screamed "OH SHIT, OUTKAST." The actors liked it, one other person liked it, a good chunk of people around me probably hated me, but I don't care, they asked for hype.
I'm definitely going to go back to this show, and they are expecting me. I tweeted at them saying I was gonna come back with a bigger group and just act all ignorant in the crowd, and they replied saying that's what they want, and that when I get there tell the DJ any requests so we can get the place moving. So if you are planning on going to see this show and see a big group of people walk in acting up, just know it's probably me and I'm going to expect you to act the same.
Want to see it?
What'd you experience?
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