Not just for rappers anymore

“Are <i>you</i> talking to me?” Danny Hoch continues the proud hip-hop tradition of uneven pant cuffs.

“Are you talking to me?” Danny Hoch continues the proud hip-hop tradition of uneven pant cuffs.

You might not have heard of playwright and actor Danny Hoch. He turned down a role on Seinfeld because he felt it stereotyped hip-hop culture. He’s missed more than a few chances to jump into the limelight (although you can catch him in American Splendor), in an effort to stay true to his roots. Hoch is a native New Yorker, and his one-man shows are rife with the multicultural diversity of the people of the boroughs. During Hip-hop Theatre: An Evening with Danny Hoch, he’ll introduce you to the idiosyncrasies and personal stories of the people of New York. Through his unscripted tales and ever-changing facial expressions, Hoch can morph from a gossipy Puerto Rican neighbor to a wannabe rapper to a grieving father to a crazy disc jockey to a Jersey loudmouth to himself as a struggling actor, without ever leaving the stage. Never relying on stereotypical gimmicks, Hoch’s comedic performances delve into the hearts of his complex characters.

The founder of the New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Hoch has helped to present more than 50 hip-hop generation plays in four years and to bring hip-hop culture out of its musical corner and expose it to a wider audience. His appearance in Davis is part of Vibalistic, a two-week exploration of hip-hop culture in contemporary arts sponsored by the Mondavi Center and St. Hope Corp. Hip-hop Theatre: An Evening with Danny Hoch will be performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 1, through Saturday, October 4, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and on Sunday, October 5. Tickets are $32 for adults and $16 for students and children. All performances are in the Mondavi Center’s Studio Theatre on the University of California, Davis, campus. Call (530) 754-ARTS for more information.