Hip Hop Meets Vaudeville and a Few Truculent Nazis


One of the first things a person might think when checking out Stateless, the new show by Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd, is “hip hop mixed with…vaudeville? How does that work?” Disparate music styles have been riffing off each other ever since the first caveman picked up a particularly tuneful rock and started beating it with a stick. Vaudeville and hip hop may appear to be separated by form, style, and about 80 years, but Dan Wolf discovered the intersection. In fact, one could claim he IS the intersection.

After discovering that he was the heir to the signature song of Hamburg, a tune German children have been singing for almost a century, local writer and rapper Dan Wolf went to Europe to investigate his roots. And found his great-uncle Ludwig Wolf, who wrote “Tuedelband,” a song so German that in 1938 the Nazis decided it was too German for Jews to sing – Jewish songwriter notwithstanding.

So Wolf joined longtime performance partner Tommy Shepherd to build a show that mixes vaudeville (the genre from whence Tuedelband sprung) with comic theater, their signature beat-boxing and an imitation ventriloquist’s dummy.

Runs through December 6 at The Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida Street, (at Mariposa). For tickets, call (415) 292-1233 or visit www.tjt-sf.org.

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