Playwright J.E. Franklin updated each fable with 21st-century references, and composer Sheryl Robinson Pattilo wrote rhymes to accompany the stories. In the original The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, for example, two rodents eat a city feast of pastries and beer before being chased off by a pair of dogs. In Hip-Hop Aesop, the menu changes. Theyre talking about government cheese, with the country mouse telling the city mouse to eat beans, rice, and cornbread, says Spider. Theres even a number featuring a rapper in a LeBron jersey who spits a rhyme with the Big Bad Wolf.
Still, the message remain the same. At the end of each fable, veteran Karamu actress Norma Powell takes the stage and emphasizes the storys lesson. Theres some movin, theres some groovin, says Spider. But the morals are still loud and clear.
Sundays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 4 p.m. Starts: Dec. 17. Continues through Jan. 7