Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
The Complete History of America (abridged)
The Reduced Shakespeare Company condenses American history into two acts - well, actually they revert back to the Stone Age and come forward, packing significant events with mention of dozens of others, and rendering all sacred cows secular (if the show doesn't inspire or offend you at some point, you should 911 the paramedics). Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor, and Dominic Conti (the latter "a moron with a plan, and that's the most dangerous kind") combine deft physical comedy with slapstick sight gags from spit-takes arching into the audience to Abe Lincoln's head exploding at Ford's Theater. The humor ranges from incisive (who the "Generals" have been for the last few wars) to groaners ("Didn't you go to college, stupid?" asks one; "Yeah," another replies, "but I came out the same way"). The brisk pace lagged on opening night only during an audience Q&A with the President, which fell flat, on both sides. Beneath the satire and goofball antics, the trio makes some persistent points - among them the JFK assassination's "Magic Bullet," which, according to Arlen Specter, did cartwheels at Dealy Plaza, and which runs through U.S. history in various guises, but always the same result.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Friday, April 24, 2009
- Sundays, 2pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 2pm & 8pm