Since its pass-the-hat origins in 1981, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has created ten world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included stops off-Broadway, at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal’s famed Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore and Bermuda, plus countless civic and university venues throughout the USA, the UK, and Europe.
In 2016, in honor of the company’s 35th anniversary and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the RSC premieres its tenth stage show, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. In 2013 the “Bad Boys of Abridgment” unveiled The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) –to critical and commercial acclaim at both Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, as well as on national tours of the the USA and UK. The Complete World of Sports (abridged)opened in 2010 at Merrimack Rep and after touring the USA and UK, ran at the Arts Theatre in London during the 2012 London Olympics. In 2011 came the world premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)which became Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s best-selling holiday show ever, and the third-best-selling show in MRT’s history and also enjoyed a successful run at San Diego Repertory Theatre as well as multiple tours across the USA.
Demons and witches and ghosts, oh my! As we reach our 666th podcast, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how the Devil has influenced (or hasn’t) the work of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss Faustian bargains; Satan being cut from The Complete History of America (abridged); rewriting The Music Man; Adam Long’s tribute to two legends in his one-man show Satan Sings Mostly Sondheim; the fear of mockery; our Kerfuffles in Northern Ireland; making friends in Louisiana; stories for another time; how times have changed; celebrating the Devil’s opposite in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged); making up for missed opportunities with episode 420; and hopefully soon-to-be requited love for our book How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better). (Length 21:55)
The Writers Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into The Woods combines professional artistry with community theatre charm to create a very immediate and powerful version of this popular musical. Directed by Gary Griffin, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Sondheim, the cast features McKinley Carter as Jack’s Mother, Brianna Borger as the Baker’s Wife, and Bethany Thomas as the Witch, all of whom discuss the challenges of going into the Woods multiple times and making new discoveries every time you do. Featuring impertinent references to The Fantasticks; doing the Lord’s work; creating characters instead of types; heightening the immediacy and stakes; the danger of gateway Sondheim drugs; Borscht Belt energy; and an emphasis on the frequently-fraught (“fraught than I thought,” to quote another Sondheim show) relationships between parents and children. (Length 21:05) (Pictured, l to r: Bethany Thomas, Brianna Borger, and McKinley Carter in the Writers Theatre production of Into The Woods, directed by Gary Griffin. Photos by Michael Brosilow.)
Kevin Pollack is a Chicago singer-songwriter (and actor) who’s just released the first video from his new collection of songs, called “Man About Town”. Kevin discusses his musical influences and his many side-gigs (including playing “Joliet Jake” in the tribute band The Blooze Brothers), and shares the ups and downs of the music biz, including inspiration from The Temptations and The Four Tops, songwriting as therapy, and such career highlights as performing in Las Vegas and playing rock icons like Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, and…Roger Ebert?! (Length 20:34)
Get your first taste of the RSC’s 11th stage show Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel) in this new video (shot and edited by the great folks at Lumos Films). Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel) will have its first Reduced Shakespeare Company performances at the Spreckels Performing Arts Center, followed by its International Premiere at the Tel Aviv Festival in Israel!
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, has now been published in both the United States by Broadway Play Publishing and Great Britain by Josef Weinberger and is available for licensing worldwide. Read about its creation and “discovery” on the Shakespeare & BeyondContinue reading
The Reduced Shakespeare Company just unveiled a new promotional video for its annual holiday hit The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). Produced and edited by Tim Neighbors of Invisible Harness, the short video was shot December 22, 2017 at the La Mirada Center for the Arts in southern California and features performers Michael Faulkner, Reed Martin, and Dan Saski. Watch below — it’ll make your spirits bright!