Introducing the Show L to R: Mike Anderson, Darin Cabot, and Matt Tompkins
he Vaudville Team of Lewis and Clark L to R: Matt Tompkins (Lewis), Michael Anderson (Clark)
Washington and the Minute Men. L to R: Matt Tompkins, Darin Cabot (Minute Men) and Michael Anderson (George Washington)
Discovering America Front to Back: Matt Tompkins (Sophia Vespucci) , Michael Anderson (Amerigo Vespucci), Darin Cabbot
Scoring the Civil War L to R:Michael Anderson (Reb), Darin Cabot (Yank)
The Reagens L to R: Matt Tompkins (Nancy), Michael Anderson (Ron)
The Andrews Sisters L to R: Matt Tompkins, Michael Anderson, Darin Cabot
Jul 07-Jul 23, 2006
A laugh riot at the Black Box
American history joins sketch comedy at the Downtown Mall
- By Joel Courtney, Las Cruces Bulletin [July 7, 2006]
The latest presentation by No Strings Theatre Company, "The Complete History of America (Abridged)" by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor and directed by Tom Smith, offers much more than a quick jaunt through the history of America. It-offers non-stop laughter at the expense of some of the quirkier moments in the past of our nation.
The three extremely versatile actors that are the guides on this journey - Michael Anderson, Darin Cabot and Matt Tompkins - keep the audience guessing at what will happen next with quick costume changes, music, slapstick, vaudevillian humor and even improvisational comedy.
The entire cast excels as they present a little less than 600 years of American history in approximately 6,000 seconds. Anderson plays the straight man at times to. the silliness of Cabot and Tompkins, which seems to suit him well. Tompkins" spends the majority of the night wearing the dresses of the numerous women from throughout the history of America. Cabot easily shifts from persona to persona, as quickly as the costumes and sketches change.
The story covers from the original settlers that followed their food source over the Bering Strait to modern-day wars and presidential follies. The brief intermission is the perfect time for audience members to work on their questions for the performers. In the middle of the second act, the actors will answer any question about American History that they may not have covered, with the exception of a few questions that are included with the program.
Director Tom Smith also designed the costumes, props, set and sound for the production, which help add to the zany romp through time. Minimalistic props like wigs and poster board signs are used to their full effectiveness while adding to the silly feel of the evening.
Even stage manager Rose Linnell gets into the jokes with the actors, providing voice recordings and great work in the slide show. Lighting is designed by Peter Herman, No Strings Theatre Company's resident designer. Ceil Herman is the producer for the production.
I would highly recommend that anyone who enjoys a good laugh make time to see this wonderful production. According to No Strings Theatre Company, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" was a sold-out performance, so make your reservations as soon as possible, before the seats are all gone. There are a couple incidents in the play that might be too risque for very small children, but overall the play doesn't ever exceed a PG-13 level.
No seating plan has been posted.