Laguna Playhouse to Welcome Reduced Shakespeare's ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (ABRIDGED), 3/4-30

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Laguna Playhouse to Welcome Reduced Shakespeare's ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (ABRIDGED), 3/4-30

The Laguna Playhouse Executive and Artistic Directors, Karen Wood and Ann E. Wareham invite you to take 83 books, with three chameleon-like actors in 98 minutes, and mix it all up into one hilarious evening of ridiculous fun! It's the Reduced Shakespeare Company's production of ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (abridged), written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor with additional material by Matthew Croke and Michael Faulkner.

"What an absolute treat we have in store for our subscribers and audiences," offers Wood. "Where else can you be exposed to 83 great books ranging from "Harry Potter" to "Green Eggs and Ham" in about an hour and a half?" "You will laugh yourself silly as these five terrific performers bring you a literal library full of every book you have ever, or ever wanted, to read. It's going to be a blast,'" adds Wareham.

ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (abridged) will begin previews on Tuesday, March 4 and will open on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, March 30, 2014 at the LagunaPlayhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Confused by Confucius? Thoroughly thrown by Thoreau? Wish Swift was swifter? Tennyson tinier? Then buckle up and hop aboard as America's best loved comedy troupe zips through everything you were supposed to read in school, but probably didn't. No classic escapes the slings and arrows of outrageous satire in this captivating production. The Literary Canon explodes as the cultural guerillas of the Reduced Shakespeare Company take you on a hilarious ninety-eight minute roller-coaster ride through its compact compendium of the 83 greatest books in the history of Western Literature.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST:

REED MARTIN (Co-Author and Director) co-created and performed in the original productions of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged), All The Great Books (abridged), Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete World of Sports (abridged), The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), andThe Complete History of Comedy (abridged). He also contributed additional material to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). He has performed in London's West End, at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, ACT San Francisco, McCarter Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The White House and Madison Square Garden, as well as in 11 foreign countries. He toured for two years as a clown/assistant ringmaster with Ringling Brothers/ Barnum & Bailey Circus. Reed has written for the BBC, National Public Radio, TBS, Britain's Channel Four, RTE Ireland, Public Radio International, Sky TV UK, the Washington Post, and Vogue magazine. Reed's work has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, a Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, and a San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critic's Circle Award. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is.

AUSTIN TICHENOR (Co-Author/Director) has performed with the RSC around the world, off-Broadway, in London's West End, and in the PBS version of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). He has written a stage adaptation of Frankenstein, a Kafka-for-kids adaptation of "The Metamorphosis" called Dancing on the Ceiling, and (with Reed Martin) the irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged), the comic e-book memoir How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better), and the stage comedies The Complete History of America (abridged), The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) (Helen Hayes Award nomination, Best New Play), All The Great Books (abridged), Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete World of Sports (abridged), The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), and The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), all of which are published and/or translated into over a dozen languages.
TV credits include recurring roles on "24," "Alias," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," and "Felicity"; and guys in ties on "The West Wing," "ER," "X-Files," "Gilmore Girls," "Nip/Tuck," and shows like them. Austin produces and hosts the weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast, available on iTunes and at reducedshakespeare.com. Follow him on Twitter @austintichenor.

The cast of ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (ABRIDGED) will feature (in alphabetical order): Dominic Conti, Michael Faulkner, Jerry Kernion, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor.

A "REDUCED" HISTORY: Since its pass-the-hat origins in 1981, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has created nine world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company's itinerary has included stops off-Broadway, at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London's West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal's famed Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore and Bermuda, plus countless civic and university venues throughout the USA, the UK, and Europe. The RSC's first three shows - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) - ran for nine years at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus as London's longest-running comedies. For years the RSC had more shows running in the West End than Andrew Lloyd Webber. They were also funnier. The "Bad Boys of Abridgment" unveiled their seventh show The Complete World of Sports (abridged) in 2010 and condensed literature into a 90- minute roller-coaster ride in All the Great Books (abridged), which has played to great acclaim at the Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Seattle's ACT Theatre, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival, as well as Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, and Sweden (in Swedish!).

They applied their fast, funny and physical approach to World History in The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged), which toured simultaneously in the US, UK and Australia, and the Movies in Completely Hollywood (abridged), which skewers the 197 greatest films of all time and has received critical acclaim across the US, UK, Belgium, Holland, Hong Kong, and Barbados. In 2011, the world premiere ofThe Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) became Merrimack Repertory Theatre's best-selling holiday show ever, and the third-best-selling show in MRT's history.

For TV, the RSC compressed the first five seasons of "Lost" into a ten-minute film called "Lost Reduced," and was a Jeopardy! category in the 2005 and 2006 Tournaments of Champions. They wrote and starred in The Ring Reduced, a half- hour version of Wagner's Ring Cycle for Channel 4 (UK), and reduced the Edinburgh Festival for BBC and the soap opera "Glenroe" for RTE Ireland. Shakespeare (abridged) aired on PBS and is available on DVD, as is America (abridged). For NPR, the RSC has been heard on All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, Day to Day, West Coast Live, and To The Best of Our Knowledge. The BBC World Service commissioned the six-part Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show. The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas was heard on Public Radio International. The RSC won the prestigious Shorty Award in New York City and the Delft Audience Award in Holland. They've also been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, two Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC, the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and several podcast awards. Hyperion published their irreverent reference book "Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged)." The RSC created Reduced Books to publish the memoir "How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better)" in all e-book formats. And in November 2013, the RSC premiered the subject it was born to reduce: The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) to critical and commercial acclaim at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (abridged) will begin previews on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 and will open on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, March 30, 2014 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm. There will be additional performances on Thursday, March 6 at 2pm; Sunday, March 9at 7pm; Sunday, March 16 at 7pm; Thursday, March 20 at 2pm & Thursday, March 27 at 2pm.

Tickets range from $36 - $71 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Student discounts are available at the Box Office. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. The box office is open Mondays - Sundays: noon to 5pm (open until 7:30pm on performance days).

For more information on all shows and programming visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 LagunaCanyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Founded in 1920, The Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is noted for its artistic excellence, wide-ranging theatrical programming, award-winning youth education offerings and community partnerships. A member of the League of Resident Theatres, The Laguna Playhouse is a valued part of the Laguna Beach arts community that serves all of Southern California with year-round, professional, high-quality productions in theatre, music and dance.

Because of its longstanding commitment to the arts, The Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for excellence by the LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP, Backstage, ArtsOC, OC Weekly, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and more. Laguna Playhouse educational programming, which includes classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and a school tour, has been honored by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education.

Serving more than 100,000 patrons each season, The Laguna Playhouse has brought many talented performers to Southern California, including Davis Gaines, Stephanie Zimbalist, Rita Rudner, Sally Struthers, Cloris Leachman, Julie Harris, Harrison Ford, Charles Durning, Marlo Thomas, Roddy McDowell and Bette Davis, who have performed in world, national and regional premieres, as well as national tours of The Belle of Amherst and Copenhagen.

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