Ends Jun 28

Off the Top

Members say: Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Absorbing
5 reviews
28 reviews

Intellectual rapper Baba Brinkman and neuroscientist Dr. Heather Berlin explore the brain basis of improvisation and humor in this live comedy show featuring cutting-edge research and freestyle rhymes.

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Married in real life, Brinkman and Berlin bring you the latest research on brain science and creativity while putting their odd-couple relationship under the microscope. Learn how a rapper seduces a scientist, how hard it is to solve a math problem while rapping, and how your subconscious mind influences your daily thoughts and feelings.

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Cast & Creatives (6)

Reviews (33)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

DC Metro Theater Arts

"Proof positive that opposites not only attract, but can also formulate a fully engaging equation of entertainment and elucidation...The couple’s animated delivery brings a feeling of spontaneity to the memorized sections…They’re both irresistibly charming, enthusiastic, funny, and talented, and smart enough to have figured out a way to integrate their personal lives and professional careers into one terrific show with 'Off the Top.'" Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "Their chemistry on stage is fantastic. 'Off The Top' is essentially a humorous lecture and it achieves exactly what it sets out to, entertaining and informing simultaneously. Though asking an audience member to come onstage and rap 15 minutes into a show is risky, it works in this environment, where the goal is to see how the brain works during improvisation...You’ll learn a lot here, with plenty of laughs along the way." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production “Combining Berlin’s engaging lecture-esque talks about the brain and its functions, Brinkman’s own freestyle raps, PowerPoint slides and a few guest comics, the loved-up couple craft a wonderful show that is funny, heart-warming and pleasingly educational…Brinkman and Berlin should congratulate themselves on a lovely show that would delight children, adults, theatre-nerds and scientists alike…I left feeling warm, cheerful and enlightened." Full Review

Mumble Comedy

for a previous production "These guys are incredibly clever and inspiring, and manage to produce an educational, inspiring and wonderfully entertaining show from beginning to end. Baba and Heather had a delightful, bantering rapport between them…The show ends with a rap by Heather herself, and its humor sent you off with a good feeling, adding to a sense of smugness that you’d stumbled across an absolute jewel of a show." Full Review

Ed Uncovered

for a previous production "It may be the best show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe...Brinkman flexes his considerable rap skills…It’s a near-perfect show…Not only is it massively entertaining, it’s also eye-opening...One does get the sense that this could equally be a science class taught by a comedian, as a comedy gig led by a scientist… You’ll laugh throughout, and keep thinking about it afterwards – 'Off The Top' is a comedy gig that keeps giving long after you’ve left." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you like comedies

Don't see it if you don't like comedies

Clever, Entertaining, Repetitive

See it if you enjoy watching brain games and like rap improv even when the quality is uneven.

Don't see it if you have already heard enough lectures about how the brain works and find stories about how a couple fell in love boring.

Also Performance I saw was a lot longer than 1 hr 20minutes and became excr... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you like science and/or rap.

Don't see it if you don't like science and/or rap.

Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Relevant, Unique

See it if you love neuroscience and/or rap music and would be interested in seeing the two combined.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy learning about the brain or listening to freestyle rap.

Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you want a fun show. Hard core neuroscience interposed with wrap music is an unexpected combination. A light, jovial, evening.

Don't see it if like wrap music or learning about the brain.

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You want to see something smart off the beaten path

Don't see it if You want a more traditional production

Also Baba and his wife make a formidable team. The show is well planned, ve... Read more Read less

Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Informative, Nerdy

See it if you like brainiac entertainment. It's a neuroscience variety show. Rap, comedy, science talk rolled into one.

Don't see it if science and nerdy subjects aren't too your liking. It's enjoyable but very intellectual.

Thought-provoking, Fun, Non-traditional

See it if you like rap as a means to communicate ideas, audience participation, real life husband & wife performances & want to learn about the brain.

Don't see it if This isn't a play, it's more of a lecture with rap, and it's in a small bar with tables and chairs. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Also I saw Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Climate Chaos in the upstairs theat... Read more Read less

Funny, Ambitious, Intelligent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you are interested in Neuroscience and Rapping. I have seen Baba perform before, and this wasn't as fun of a show as in the past.

Don't see it if you don't want to feel as if you are in a lecture. This was part rap, part lecture part stand up comedy show.

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You like rap and/or comedy and are interest in the science of how they are created. You like the idea of a science-rap-comedy hybrid "show."

Don't see it if You are expecting a play or theatrical show. This is more of a science-conference seminar with some rap and comedy tossed in.

Also This was a really interesting, fun evening (proximity the a bar defini... Read more Read less

Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you want to see an interesting TED RAP talk work in progress with a less than interesting comedian and you've had a few drinks from the bar

Don't see it if you are expecting theater or actors who can use the microphone properly or you have no interest in the effects of rap on the brain.

Entertaining, but gets stale., Some surprising/some meh., It's fun for awhile.

See it if you like to learn a few new things, think science is fascinating and the brain more so, you like a casual lounge atmosphere, are a Baba fan.

Don't see it if You don't like rap, think science is boring, don't like seeing a real-life couple perform together. It goes on too long, is uneven, but OK.

Also Saw this 3/15/17 at the Huron Club downstairs at Soho Playhouse. There... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if You're interested in catching more of a lecture (on the brain) than traditional show. U will learn tho-& come away w/some insightful facts~

Don't see it if You're looking for a play, not a comedy/rap/lecture-or the topic would bore you. Needs to be tightened & directed to get more out of show~

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if You want a fun, intimate, brilliant night of theatre with a brain stimulating twist!

Don't see it if If you want to see typical plays or musicals. This is out of the box. Oh go on ...step outside the box....!!!

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Sexy

See it if Boy rapper marries girl neuroscientist. They perform a weekly act that is half brain science, half comedy. The smart babe is hot stuff.

Don't see it if You want a work of fiction. This is closer to a standup comedy act than a theater piece.

Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you wish to see a classroom or specialized conference presentations to experts on refereed research on scans of a brain.

Don't see it if you wish to be entertained and are not looking for a specialized lecture with some cutesy rap music and a comedian who is bombing

Also This should not be described as an entertainment. It is as entertainin... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Fun, Unfocused, Educational

See it if you like science lectures, want to see an "odd couple" in real life, or want to test your multi-tasking in public (1-2 people can do this).

Don't see it if you are looking for a tight show, a plot, or huge scientific insights (there are some, just mostly at the beginning).

Also It's a fun, light-hearted collaboration between the husband-wife pair ... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You would like a really interesting science lecture.

Don't see it if You want a plotted play.

Absorbing, Delightful, Edgy, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you're willing to park your expectations at the door, and enjoy peeking into the workings of brainiac improv artists (and the rest of us).

Don't see it if you're only fulfilled by guffaws and pratfall comedy, 'cause this strives for so much more that you can carry with you out the door.

Also I don't know him, but I've seen every Baba show and applauded his sear... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Quirky, Slow, Hilarious

See it if You'd like to see the Hamilton of popular science; impressive use of large vocabulary in rap form; light fun evening in lieu of comedy night

Don't see it if You only want to see a play, a work of fiction; hated biology in school; even then it's hard not to like this infectiously enthusiastic duo

Funny, Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You like a good mix of intellectual material and comic relief. Great intersection of art and science!

Don't see it if You're not he type or person who likes science. This show is very fact heavy.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy scientific word play. I enjoyed this show more than I had thought I would. Afterwards, got to talk with Baba–who was very friendly

Don't see it if You don't like rap. But honestly see it even if you don't think you like rap–like me.

Funny, Intelligent, Entertaining, Fun

See it if You're interested in rap/improvised music or neuroscience; you want something light and don't necessarily need it to be theater.

Don't see it if You hate TED talks; you hate rap; you want to see a piece of theater; or you want something deep or serious.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You like neuroscience, rap, comedy all rolled into one.

Don't see it if You like small intimate shows and small acts.

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you want something different for a change.very interesting idea,but I feel like they could do it better by giving takeaways for a real world

Don't see it if -expecting a play - THIS IS NOT A PLAY. -thinking that you'll actually learn something.