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New Acting Company play a comedic look at US history
'The Complete History of America (Abridged)'
TIMES: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays; runs to March 24.
WHERE: The Acting Company, 815 B St., Yuba City.
Recounting the complete history of America would be a long, time-consuming task.
The Acting Company will tell that history, but in an adbridged version. "The Complete History of America (Abridged)" begins its run Friday.
But instead of a dry, straight-forward and factual account of American history, the play instead presents a comedic look at the founding of our country, said its director, Joe Moye.
"It's a mangling of US history," he said. "It's filled with a lot of broad, baudy comedy. And it's kind of like three guys doing standup comedy."
Those three guys are Mark Johnson, Anthony Dost and Jeff Graham. The actors assume various roles throughout the performance, each covering an aspect of America's evolution as a country.
"It basically follows the history of the US from prehistoric days almost to the current day," Moye said. "it contains (all of) the more iconic images and parts of American history."
Billing itself as 600 years of history covered in 6,000 seconds, the play opens with an unusual take on "The Star Spangled Banner." It begins its history with the age of exploration, covering how Amerigo Vespucci's name became associated with the country. (His wife, played by Jeff Graham, complains about his mapmaking skills.)
The standup comedy aspect to the performances mean every performance is different. The actors interact with the audience and there is a large amount of improvisation.
Because of its irreverent sense of humor, the play is recommended for more mature audiences.
Moye said he was inspired to mount the production after staging its companion piece, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" a few years ago.
"We did it with the same actors about five years ago ... these are three of the funniest people I know," he said. "They're so fun to watch."
The set of the play contains paintings of the icons of American history, such as the Statue of Liberty, George Washington and Elvis Presley. Once the production has concluded, Moye said, the Acting Company will allow audience members to bid on each painting either at the theater or on its website. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the theater to "help buy more theater stuff," he said.
People should come because "everyone needs a good laugh — always," Moye said. "This is a play that pokes fun at Americans and US history — sometimes in a nice way, and sometimes in a cutting, biting way."