American history for dummies

The complete history of America in a little over 100 minutes? My high school history teacher would be appalled at the notion. I was intrigued and eager to see how the comedic actors would interpret America’s glorious history.

The play “The Complete History of America (Abridged)”  is a comedic play originally produced by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a three-man comedy group based in California who take long serious topics and turn them into short comedic stage plays.

The play, which ran from Nov. 9 to Nov. 18, starred NSU students Kati O’Hearn, Alex Weiss and Vanessa Chang and was directed by Mark Duncan, associate professor and assistant director, division of performing and visual arts.

O’Hearn set the tone with the opening scene when the three sang America’s national anthem. The three began singing the Star Spangled Banner in tune and harmony but O’Hearn slowly began to dramatically take over the song with an over the top Celine Dion-esque impression.

Weiss did a great job throughout delivering his punch lines on point. He even did a pretty good impersonation of President Barack Obama.

Chang also gave a strong performance and entertained the audience with her portrayal of a Vietnamese and a Native American woman. The group does a good job playing off some obvious things, like the fact that they had Chang play the Vietnamese character because her last name is Chang even though she does not look Asian.

The play included everything from slapstick comedy to a few innuendos. The audience was even involved with props like water guns, glitter, trivia about historical women of America, and questions for President Barack Obama.

It helps to know some history, but it’s not necessary to enjoy a few laughs when watching the play. If I had to nip pick, I could have done without a couple of the penis jokes. However, I really enjoyed the play and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in viewing our American history through a comedic lens. Although this is a comedy of American history, it allows us to laugh at some of the ridiculous and embarrassing things that has happened in our country’s past.

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