Abridge on the River Kwai

They’ve done it to American history, the Bard, the Bible, and classic literature, and now the “bad boys of abridgement” in Reduced Shakespeare Company have distilled Tinseltown to its basest (and, one assumes, most amusing) elements. In Completely Hollywood (abridged), RSC’s Austin Tichenor and his henchmen skewer 175 of American cinema’s best-known films, from The Wizard of Oz to Star Wars, in an unholy send-up of our favorite films.

This three-man comedy troupe rose to fame after savaging Old Will in its first foray, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), and has employed the same “reduction recipe” to show biz in this lightning-fast analysis of Hollywood history. It isn’t a distillation of the films themselves so much as a lampoon of filmmaking in Hollywood. Yuks come from shtick such as a spoof of self-help programs titled “The 12 Rules of Hollywood” and a bit about how all movies are either remakes or combinations of two other films.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 24. Continues through April 5, 2009
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela