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In its 40-year history, funk carioca has captured the imaginations (and feet) of generations, created overnight stars, gone mainstream and been blamed for the ills of society in much the same way as rap music has and still does today. With even the mighty Caetano Veloso falling under its spell on his latest album Abraçaço, the time was obviously right for a theatrical version of the controversial rhythm's history, too, as told in journalist Silvio Essinger's book 'Batidão – Uma História do Funk' on which the show is based.
As expected, it's a glossy, high-tempo romp that doesn't delve too deeply into the genre's negative associations of sex, drugs and gangs, but the six 'funkeiros' sing and dance their way through the chronology with aplomb. From the fever of the first soul music parties to the 'James Brown effect' and through to DJ Marlboro and the smash hit 'Rap do Felicidade' by Claudinho & Buchecha, its a diverting overview of the unique phenomenon.