SoHo Playhouse Presents: Baba Brinkman and Heather Berlin Return with OFF THE TOP
Fringe First winner and science rapper Baba Brinkman (Rap Guide to Evolution) and neuroscientist Dr. Heather Berlin are back for a third season in Edinburgh, to explore the brain basis of improvisation with new jokes, new guests, new scientific findings, freestyle experimentation and audience interaction.
How does a rapper seduce a scientist?
Can you do math problems or write texts while rapping?
Does anything actually rhyme with Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex?
A married couple in real life, Baba and Heather premiered Off The Top in 2014, returning in 2015 to rave reviews. Now they're back after performing the show weekly off-Broadway for most of 2017, presenting the latest research on brain science and creativity, with featured guest comics mixing their scripted material with unscripted moments of hilarity.
This year, Baba incorporates new raps on the neuroscience of consciousness, having developed a whole new show, Rap Guide to Consciousness, which is also premiering at this year's fringe. As Baba quips: "Am I writing rap songs about the brain because I married a neuroscientist? Or did I marry a neuroscientist because I wanted to write rap songs about the brain? As a good skeptic I can't say for sure."
Heather (aka Dr. Heather Berlin, PhD, MPH) is a cognitive neuroscientist at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, and also a science communicator and TV host - she recently hosted Superhuman Showdown on the Discovery Channel and Science Goes to the Movies on PBS, and appears in both Chelsea Does on Netflix and in the new Bill Nye documentary.
Baba and Heather's research at NYU places rappers in an fMRI scanner while they freestyle and recite memorized lyrics, to see how brain activation changes with each task.
Discussing this study and other similar ones, Heather and Baba explain the results in practical terms in relation to other performing arts, i.e. comedy, music, improv and theatre, while demonstrating live with hilarious guest acts.
Debunking media simplification, myths surrounding the brain, and all manner of other neuro-bollocks, Off the Top is a bona fide scientific experiment and unrestricted freestyle extravaganza, a heady mix of comedy rap songs written by Baba, brain science explained by Heather, and a rotating roster of daily comedy guests.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Off The Top:
Neuroscience with Attitude