I ventured down to the Lansburgh Theatre on Wednesday night for The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Complete History of America (abridged)”. Promising 600 years of history in 6000 seconds seemed ambitious and in my opinion it proved too ambitious. I had hoped for (this is probably lame on my end) something more…educational. History was glossed over and more time was spent on sex jokes than on historical jokes.
But don’t get me wrong, it was FUNNY. Getting started, the audience, which only filled about 2/3 of the theater, was fairly cold and self-conscious but the company took time to get everyone into their groove, which really helped. A group of lively middle school students took up the first four rows and the inappropriate jokes became much funnier with their presence. The three men who performed the show were outside the theater after the show to sign programs which was awfully sweet and I’m sure the middle school class went crazy over the brush with “celebrity.”
My only other complaint is the out of left field sketch with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The two candidates held a debate and it mainly consisted of over used observations and jokes anyone living and breathing in DC has already heard a couple thousand times. It was a completely unnecessary addition, most of the audience lost their groove, and the sketch was oddly placed between Korea and Vietnam. Following the “debate,” the audience had to refind their way into 20th Century history.
But maybe I’m just bitter because the show let out the same time that the Capitols game did and Metro was only running 4 car trains every 14 minutes?
Anyway, for discounted tickets try www.goldstarevents.com
THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (abridged)
The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
March 11 - April 13, 2008