Brian Stack’s Music

Second City alumnus Brian Stack (The Late Show with Stephen ColbertLate Night and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien) has a knowledge of popular music that’s both broad and deep, and this week he shares with us the kind of music that gets him through tough times (like, say, a pandemic); how music intersects with comedy in surprising and hysterical ways; how Van Morrison is perfect for any occasion; his outstanding Neal Young and Michael Macdonald impressions; some comedic inspiration from Men Without Hats; and the importance of sharing your music (while not, of course, sharing your germs). (Length 23:08)

Preeesenting…the Remote Shakespeare Company!

For the time being, please enjoy these epic reductions from the comfort of your own shelter!

THE RING REDUCED

Where can you see Wagner’s 17-hour Ring Cycle crammed into a brief and palatable 23 minutes? RIGHT. HERE.

LOST: REDUCED

At the invitation of Sky-TV, we reduced the first five seasons of the landmark TV series Lost down to ten minutes, with the blessing of (and a specially-filmed introduction from) its creators Damon Lindelof (Watchmen, The Leftovers) and Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, Locke & Key)!

Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions

The Answer Is: In 2005 and 2006 this theatrical touring troupe was its own video category in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.
The Question Is: Who is the Reduced Shakespeare Company?

PLUS! SOME RECENT ADDITIONS

“I Laughed Till I Cried”
from The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)

Austin’s song, now with pictures and clips and one new line addressing the current moment. See if you can spot it!

Sonnet 18 — First Draft
from Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged)

As part of the #ReadASonnet thread on Twitter, Austin reads Shakespeare’s long-lost first draft of one his most popular sonnets.

CROKE’S QUARANTINE… (name tba) IS NOW OPEN!

Let Matt Croke teach you these comedy classics!!

LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR!

Most recent member Doug Harvey teaches you the basics!!

WANNA HEAR SOME STORIES?

Dee Ryan tells this one, and has dozens more at her Louder Than a Mom storytelling page!

THE REMOTE REDUCED REUNION

Join us for this epic reunion of 50 actors, stage managers, and props & wardrobes gods & goddesses who’ve worked with the Reduced Shakespeare Company over the years. Featuring RSC artistic directors Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor, founding members Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, host and actor Matt Croke, and literally dozens more. Recorded from at least four different time zones on April 11, 2020.

RSC Q&A

In a conversation hosted by Matt Croke, co-artistic directors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss the history of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, the scripts they’ve written, and some helpful dos and annoying don’ts when performing them in this almost two-hour livestream, recorded April 25, 2020.

More to come!!

The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas

Your new holiday tradition! The complete (unabridged) recording of The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas, produced by Connie Blaszczyk for Public Radio International in 1995, which has been unavailable for years and features Adam Long, Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor, and Matthew Croke in a special “live” recording from RSC HQ. Not to be confused with our stage production The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), the RSC Christmas features transmissions from Yule-Sat, Reed’s Happy Wholesome Holiday Poem, Carolers from Hell, just A Little Dickens, the incredibly helpful Carol Complaint Line, almost-25-year-old references, a very minor holiday apocalypse, 12 Tips of Christmas, our epic production of “The Complete Christmas Carol (abridged)”, an exclusive interview with Charles Dickens himself, and ultimately, inevitably, the True Meaning of Christmas. (Length 46:33)

Romeo And Juliet

The current Chicago Shakespeare Theatre production of Romeo And Juliet completely reinvigorates Shakespeare’s most famous play, emphasizing frequently overlooked themes and giving events an intense urgency that accentuates both the comedy and the tragedy. Director Barbara Gaines (who’s also CST’s founding artistic director) talks about what finally drew her to the play and how she emphasized certain things while eschewing too much romanticization; how she underscores the dangers of cycles repeating endlessly; creates powerful final images: how every Shakespeare play can be improved by setting it in a high school; how she adds tension and comedy to the balcony scene; gives us a reduced history of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and the wonderful but maybe not too surprising relationship between Chicago Shakes and Second City. (Length 24:02) (Pictured: Brittany Bellizeare and Edgar Miguel Sanchez in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by Barbara Gaines. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

Standup Vs. Improv

History of Vaudeville

Balancing Twelfth Night

Discussing Twelfth Night

Episode 637. History Of Blackface

Episode 633. ‘Nerdy’ Brian Posehn

Episode 592. Christopher Moore’s ‘Noir’

Episode 584. The Comedy “Plantation!”

Episode 538. Falcon Theatre Fools

Episode 517. Flying Karamazov Brothers

Episode 516. The Q Brothers

Episode 503. Too Much Parody?

Episode 486. Merchant Of Venice

Episode 475. Our Poster (L)Artist

Episode 467. Holy Humor Sunday

Episode 465. Captain Steve Davis

Episode 443. Comedy Tour Recap

Episode 438. Power Of Comedy

Episode 426. Marin Theatre Company

Episode 425. UK Comedy Openings

Episode 424. Comedy’s Seriously Funny

Episode 419. Choice Table Comments

Episode 417. Comedy Cast Notes

Episode 416: Bay Area Roots

Episode 415. Dudes Talkin’ Comedy

Busy Busy Fall!

Episode 405. Reduced Radio Show

Episode 402. The Pleasance Courtyard

Episode 392. Podcast For Larissa

Episode 388. Returning To Edinburgh

Episode 386. Big Theatre Week

Episode 385. Unknown Dan Rice

Episode 381. Acting With Masks

Episode 377. By The Numbers

Episode 373. (NOT) Banned in Newtownabbey

Episode 372. There’s Always One

Episode 370. Meeting Mike McShane

Episode 369. 2013’s Top Podcasts

RSC World Premiere Is A Hit! A Very Palpable Hit!

dominic-abeThe critics and the public agree! The World Premiere of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a monster hit! The Cincinnati Enquirer said, “It’s funny. Really, really funny… And most of all it’s really, really smart… They are exhaustingly hilarious!”
And Cincinnati City Beat said, “A dizzying night’s entertainment! It’s the work of some serious minds exploring the art of comedy… Fresh and funny!”Continue reading

Episode 366. Serpent of Venice

Episode 364. Constructing The Narrative

Episode 363. ‘Comedy’ Opening Weekend

Episode 362. Design For ‘Comedy’

Episode 361. A Comedian’s Prayer

A Brand Spanking New RSC World Premiere!

comedy-sqYes, you read it right! The RSC will unveil its ninth stage show THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (abridged) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park from November 9 – December 29! From cavemen telling “Rock Rock” jokes to Chris Rock and everything in-between, the bad boys of abridgement leave no joke untold as we deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 rollicking minutes. Get tickets now! Continue reading

Episode 349. Rocking The Casbah

Episode 341. Development Of Comedy

Episode 340. Directing A Comedy

Episode 329. History of Comedy

Episode 197. ‘Sports’ Opening Night

Episode 179. Comedy That Offends