Carnegie Hall’s Mainstage Performance Series continues when Reduced Shakespeare Company presents The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. Guests are invited to come early for the free Mainstage Lounge from 6 to 6:45 p.m. in the Board Room located adjacent to the Hamilton Auditorium. A cash bar and snacks are available.
Starring writer/directors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, with Dominic Conti, The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) leaves no joke untold as they deconstruct the entire history of comedy in a dizzying night’s entertainment that has been hailed as “wonderfully hilarious… wacky good fun” by AcrossTheArts.co.uk, “a non-stop laugh fest” by Lowell Sun and “really, really funny… and most of all, really, really smart” by Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company has skewered history, the Bible and the world’s most celebrated playwright. Now, they seek to answer one of life’s greatest mysteries: What makes people laugh? From the highbrow to the low, The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) covers comedy through the ages, from Aristophanes and Shakespeare and Moliere to Vaudeville and Charlie Chaplin to The Daily Show and Anthony Weiner. This is the subject they were born to reduce. It’s a “a madcap, breakneck speed” 90 minutes that is “audacious, often outrageous and bawdy” (Boston Stages).
The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) is the comedy troupe’s ninth original stage production, which had a tryout at Napa Valley Playhouse in August 2013, premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in November 2013 and has since been presented at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Reston Center Stage in Virginia as part of “The Complete Works of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (abridged) Extravaganza” and Edison Theatre at Washington University in St. Louis.
Founded in 1981, Reduced Shakespeare Company has grown from a pass-the-hat act at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato to an internationally renowned touring comedy group that has expanded beyond the original three performers Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, who created the company’s first “abridged” comedy, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Current managing partners Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor have written, directed and performed in all eight of the company’s original stage productions since then: The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged), All The Great Books (abridged), Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete World of Sports (abridged), The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) and The Complete History of Comedy (abridged). Reduced Shakespeare Company’s work was produced professionally in the Bay Area most recently in 2011, when The Complete History of America (abridged) was staged by Marin Shakespeare Company, where The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) remains the most produced play in that company’s 25-year history (with productions in 2007, 2000, 1999 and 1998).
Tickets to the performance are $32/adult and $10/child, and the performance is recommended for ages 13 and up. Discounts are available for Carnegie Hall members, students, senior citizens, and military.
Carnegie Hall also offers new Family Pricing. Bring the entire family and save. Pricing starts with one discounted adult ticket ($30) and one free child ticket. Each additional adult is only $15, and each additional child is only $5. Must call the box office to take advantage.
To purchase tickets, call Carnegie Hall Box Office at 304-645-7917, visit www.carnegiehallwv.org, or stop by at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg. Carnegie Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.