the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete History of America (Abridged)
The call the Reduced Shakespeare company a cross between SparkNotes and The Three Stooges is broadly accurate but misses the point entirely, as do all of the troupe’s condensations of the classics, from Shakespeare (“Brevity is the soul of wit!”) to the Bible (“The greatest non-Harry Potter related phenomenon in the history of publishing”), Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the world’s greatest books, the history of Hollywood, and of course the entirety of Western civilization. If that last subject seems a bit too much to process in one hundred minutes, the Complete History of America (Abridged) should prove less intimidating. From the New World to the New World Order, RSC’s three performers (in a frenzy of costume changes and falsetto portrayals of the founding mothers) will gesticulate the gist of America in record time. From humble beginnings as a pass-the-hat act at renaissance faires, the RSC’s boiling-down of the Bard went on to become London’s longest-running comedy at ten years and has spawned half a dozen stage shows and at least as many radio and television incarnations.
Reduced Shakespeare Company: Complete History of America (Abridged) • Tuesday, Oct. 21 • State Theatre • 7:30pm • adults $25-35, youth/student $18 • 832-ARTS