Reduced Shakespeare Company's "The Complete World of Sports (abridged)"
(Posted on February 21, 2012) 8 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Tickets: $35, $30 and $25
You needn't be a sports fan or even a Shakespeare fanatic to fully appreciate The Complete World of Sports (abridged), presented by the Reduced Shakespeare Company at 8 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. That's because the Reduced Shakespeare Company is a brilliantly funny three-man comedy troupe that takes long, serious subjects - all kinds of subjects - and reduces them to short, sharp comedies. Tickets are $35, $30 and $25.
In The Complete World of Sports (abridged) Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin, who co-wrote the script, and Matt Rippy team up to reduce every sport ever played on every continent in the entire history of the world! The performance, first unveiled in 2010, is a merciless but affectionate satire of an ESPN-type broadcast in which the actors poke fun at America's obsession with sports, their celebrities and the pompous talking heads on TV who love the sound of their own voices. The Washington Post raves: "The pacing and timing are crackerjack. It's hard not to grin all night, so give 'em a medal: Who's gonna beat their time in a comic sprint?" The Boston Globe notes that it "owes as much to the insanity of Monty Python as to the inanity of actual sports programs." The Washingtonian calls it "a fresh, zany, and entertaining take on the international obsession with competitive sports." And DC Theatre Scene says it's "a snappy comic romp. The RSC tear into their heady task with childlike glee."
Since its 1981 origins as a pass-the-hat act in California, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has created eight stage shows, two television specials, numerous radio pieces, and several failed TV pilots. Their performances have been seen and heard the world over with an itinerary that has included stops at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London's West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore and Bermuda. The company's first three shows, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) ran for nine years at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus. They were London's longest-running comedies, and at one time the RSC had more shows running in the West End than Andrew Lloyd Webber ... funnier, too.
The RSC can condense literature into a 90-minute roller-coaster ride, as it did in All The Great Books (abridged), or apply a fast, funny and physical approach to world history as in Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged). The troupe, sometimes known as the "bad boys of abridgement," can even skewer the 197 greatest films of all times in a single evening, as proven in Completely Hollywood (abridged).
For television, the RSC compressed the first five seasons of Lost into a ten-minute film called Lost Reduced, and it was a Jeopardy! category in the 2005 and 2006 Tournaments of Champions. They wrote and starred in The Ring Reduced, a half-hour version of Wagner's Ring Cycle for Channel 4 (UK), and reduced the Edinburgh Festival for BBC. Shakespeare (abridged) aired on PBS and is available on DVD, as is America (abridged). Numerous other TV appearances include NBC's Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Entertainment Tonight, CNN's Showbiz This Week, and New Zealand's Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (they lost).
For National Public Radio, the RSC has been heard on All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, Day to Day, West Coast Live, and To The Best of Our Knowledge. The BBC World Service commissioned the six-part Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show, and The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas was heard on Public Radio International.
RSC scripts are published in the US and UK, and translated into over a dozen languages. The RSC won the prestigious Shorty Award and has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, two Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC, the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and several podcast awards. Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Readers Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) (Hyperion) is available in bookstores everywhere. And the free 20-minute Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast is available every week on iTunes and on www.reducedshakespeare.com.
Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.
Vol. 44, No. 198