The Complete History of America (abridged)

There are no good shows around, you've seen all the good movies, and done the museum thing. What else is fun to do in DC? I was in this situation and decided to check out The Complete History of America (abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC). I highly recommend it if you're in a similar position (before July 5, after which they premier their new show, The Bible---The Complete Word of God (abridged)).

The RSC is indeed reduced; it involves only three performers, Matt Croke, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor, who take you through a 2 hour condensed version of the history of America beginning right from the beginning of human history to the present. Hilariously.

What most impressed me about the RSC was their ability to improvise on the fly. People who walked in late became the direct target of their sarcasm. It was fortunate no one did after the intermission, when they were weilding super-soakers, ready to attack the enemy. Another thing that impressed me the most is their ability to make fun of everything and anything, every minute of the show. It is one of those shows where you listen carefully so you didn't miss a single external reference (including the one to Allen Ginsberg's Howl).

While some of the gags are not-so politically correct, the central theme is in line with current understanding of American History (i.e., the politically correct form where the current, mostly negative, stereotypes of the majority population is upheld). I suppose it is indeed good that one can laugh at themselves. Still, it did manage to invoke a few open mouths (you can guess how uptight those people must've been).

Highlights include the George Washinton impersonation, the letter from Amy (a British girl who thinks its funny that three Americans name themselves after a British playwright), the living slideshow, the creation of the constitution, other choices made by Betsy Ross for the American flag, and the word games (Did you know that "AMERICAN" is a loaded word?).

The ending falters a bit with the whole Sam Diamond detective bit, since it seems a bit incongruous, but they make up for it by re-doing the ending reversing time itself. To a point where humanity has not yet become the top of the food chain and all the other creatures are existing in a happy equilibrium.

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