Have you ever wanted to see a play that included World War I reenactments, midgets in the Revolutionary War and Lana Richards playing both George Washington and Richard Nixon in the same two-hour span? Then The Complete History of America Abridged is the play for you!
The play opens Wednesday in the CHS black box theater, starring seniors Richards and twin brothers Jared and Noah Liebmiller.
The play, written by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, was suggested by Jared as a senior project for the trio of actors.
“Part of the appeal is that it’s just supposed to be funny,” Noah says. “If you come to see it, the people on stage are just Jared, Lana and me.”
The show is a mixture of outrageous costumes, hilarious jokes and impressive improv. Ironically, each actor’s part seems to resemble their own personalities, despite being randomly assigned.
“We assigned the roles randomly and then started reading it, and it was perfect,” Noah says. “Lana is a crazed, liberal, environmentalist hippy, I’m a self-righteous, arrogant, know-it-all with a penchant for politics and long-winded speeches, and Jared is a lazy slacker who is trying to find life’s meaning.”
All three actors say that the show is going to be slightly different every night, depending on who attends and how they react. There are many opportunities for on-the-spot improvisation and audience involvement.
“People are going to love it, and the amount of interaction we have with the live audience is going to be fun for us and them,” Jared adds.
Drama teacher Michael Jacobs has performed in this show at the Golden Bough Playhouse, and he is able to offer some of his wisdom about how things should be.
The main work, however, has been entirely between the trio of actors.
“We’re definitely preparing well, but spring break and college visits threw a wrench right in the middle of our rehearsal schedule, which was a challenge,” Jared notes. “But I’m very excited for the opening.”
In the midst of studying for finals and AP tests, the trio says that seeing the play might be a fun and educational study break.
“We will answer any questions about history you ask us,” Noah says. “Perhaps not accurately, but we’ll answer them.”
The Complete History of America Abridged runs through May 5, and all revenue goes to the Carmel Repertory Acting Players.
“Also,” Richards adds, “we advise anyone who sits in the front row to bring a raincoat.”