I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the merits of "Complete History" going in to a tiny segmented ballroom at the Aston Beach Hotel to watch this production, which was billed as one of London's longest running comedies.
Well, the laughs began straight away and didn't let up until the curtain closed! Leave it to a London playwright to sterotype Americans as being historically ignorant and herein the humor lies.
From Washington to Watergate, from the Bering Straits to Baghdad, from New World to New World Order – The Complete History of America (abridged) is a ninety minute rollercoaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American History, reminding us that it’s not the length of your history that matters – it’s what you’ve done with it!
Originally performed by the Reduced Shakespear Company (RSC), an American acting troupe that writes and performs unsubtle, fast-paced, seemingly improvisational condensations of huge topics and written in the early 1990s by RSC members Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, the play delighted audiences in California before being shipped across the pond to the U.K.
In a stellar Kauai performance by Kauai residents Ross Martineau, Nellie Foster and Jeff Demma, the simple production depends not on stage sets or props. The magic is in the acting and the seemingly perfect improve which is really the result of hours upon hours of rehersals.
This History offers an unceasing barrage of explosive punch lines, visual and verbal puns and scattershot slapstick. Moreover, the Company hits its targets nearly every time. There is method in the madness of these goofy guys, who have pioneered their own wacky genre while drawing upon such surreal antecedents as Firesign Theatre.
The play is currently running every Tuesday night at the Austin Beach Hotel. Call (808) 212- 8444 for info, tickets and reservations.