A Good Time for the Complete History of America (Abridged) at Island Theater 

by Madeline DeLorie

(photos by Rachel Pontarolo)

The Island Theater has brought a comic and quick version of the history of America to its stage in this new comedy sure to have you laughing throughout its two hour run time.  You may even have the chance to participate in this fun show put on by the energetic cast. If you are unfamiliar with Abridged shows – you may not know what to expect. However, if you enjoy satire and take a joke – you will be entertained.

The three players of the show include Liane Barkley, Cindy Baker and Tricia Williams.  These ladies take the audience through a brief highlighted tour of the history of America starting with the discovery of America and ending around 2011.  The show doesn’t concern itself with current political events so it acts as a nice respite from current hot button issues. It, however, doesn’t shy away from facts of the past.

Written by the same team that created Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), the ladies are put through their paces as they quickly present the show.  Liane Barkley is especially adept at presenting the various pieces of dry humor in a clear and concise way. Her film noir detective feels like it comes straight out of the genre.

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Regular Island Theater patrons will recognize Cindy Baker from many of her previous shows and she even sings beautifully in this show.  The song, however, is not one you will have heard before. Rounding out the cast, Tricia Williams, theater manager, provides unabashed slapstick comedy delighting the audience.

More remarkable than the crazy antics of the cast (and they were fantastic in their own right) is the director, Megan Cunningham.  Cunningham is the youngest director to put her vision on stage at The Island. While she is only 15, she put together a complex show that delighted the audience.  The Island Theater’s mission of theater education was in full realization by giving this opportunity to our next generation of artists. We seem to be in good hands for the future if this show is any indication.

The Island Theater is a gem in Clay County.  Always providing something different for the variety of tastes.  If you love slapstick and satire, this is a great show to take in.  Complete History of America (Abridged) runs February 21-March 1st on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.

Audiences should be aware that there is some sexual innuendo and adult themes to the show.  While The Island Theater provides lots of family friendly events and shows, this is one that is best suited for teens and up.

Next up on their stage is Heathers in March.

About Madeline DeLorie