Top 5 Best Things About “Yo Joe!”
I was recently invited to see “Yo Joe! A Real American Hip-Hop Musical” at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy and found it so indelible I had to share it with my new in town readers. The musical, if you hadn’t guessed, is based off a certain 80s cartoon and lines of action figures, but, for reasons of copyright infringement, shall remain pseudonymed (but here’s a hint, there are characters named: Sneak-Ez, and Killro).
So I figured what better way to share my enjoyment than with a top list? Here are the top 5 best things you can look forward to in “Yo Joe!”
5. Raptastic Music – The soundtrack is just the right mix of funky and goofy that keeps the beat bouncing in your head long after the show is over. The lyrics are packed with so many great lines that you’ll want to see the show a few times just to catch them all. Here’s hoping for a soundtrack release.
4. C. J. Tuor as Zycam – Zycam takes the whole ‘master of disguise’ shtick farther than you ever thought possible, continuing to surprise you with new ways to employ his chameleon tendencies until the very end. Tuor executes the role with perfect comic timing and just the right dose of bravado.
3. Intense Fighting Choreography – Despite a limited budget, the actors went all out to make the fight scenes as exciting as possible. They are especially intense if you are sitting in the front row during the multiple sword-wielding showdowns between Sneak-Ez and Silent Stab where the very real possibility of getting stabbed only heightens the experience.
2. Trance-Inducing Scene Changes – There is something about the purposefully low budget video and the cheerful hip hop beats together that make the scene transitions hypnotic in an indescribable way. I still hear that music whenever I close my eyes.
1. Masterful Direction and Performances – There are no small parts in “Yo Joe!” Each character is equally memorable and portrayed by actors with an excellent sense of comic timing. The music and story are great. It’s obvious that writer and composer Jay Gish poured a lot of effort into this one.
“Yo Joe!” is playing at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy (1422 W. Irving Park Road) until October 15. Whether you’re a long-time Chicago native or you recently moved to Chicago, I suggest you check it out.