Saturday, April 1, 2017

Falcon Theatre ends season with brilliant laugh a minute comedy

‘The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)’ is a must see in these trying times

By Patti Pietschmann
Photo by Richard Pietschmann
 If Garry Marshall was still alive he would be so pleased with the last seasonal production at the Falcon Theatre which he co-founded in 1970 with his daughter Kathleen Marshall LaGambina. It was a much-needed comic relief in these trying times.  Brilliantly cast and directed ‘The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)’ takes you on a journey of the genre from  Aristophanes, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare,  the Daily Show and even Jesus Christ with lots of contemporary political humor and  comedy dell arte interspersed. 

The play opens with the voice of the late, great Johnny Carson (not sure real or impersonated) delivering one of his memorable monologues.  From there a trio of talented thespians floors us with antics, jokes, audience participation pranks and foibles. There a musical background of theme songs from shows such as The Simpsons, Cheers, The Jeffersons, Curb Your Enthusiasm and other funny TV series and a hilarious bit putting songs from The Supremes into the act.
It’s cute, entertaining, fast-paced and recommended for anyone who needs relief from the daily comedy show taking place in today’s White House.

Meet the cast:

Zehra Fazal Theatre: Bars and Measures (Theatre @ Boston Court), Othello (Folger Shakespeare Library), The Engine of Our Ruin (Victory Theater Center), Kite on the Wind: A Tale of Pakistan (Kennedy Center), That Face (Studio Theatre), Opera Meets Improv Series (Groundlings/LAOpera), and the tour of her musical Headscarf and the Angry Bitch, which played at the DC Fringe Festival (WON: Best Solo Show), NYC's Cherry Lane Theatre, Hollywood, Indianapolis and Toronto Fringe. Education: BA, Wellesley College. Zehra can be heard in video games including Final Fantasy XV, Titanfall 2, and Uncharted 4, and on TV in Comedy Central's Legends of Chamberlain Heights, and Marvel's Daredevil. 

Marc Ginsburg was last seen playing 18(!) crazy characters in The Real Housewives of Toluca Lake: The Musical! Favorite roles include ‘Che’ (Evita), ‘Aaron’ (First Date - Best Actor Ovation Nomination), ‘Lord Farquaad’ (Shrek), ‘Leo Bloom’ (The PRESS RELEASE: The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) 3 of 3 Producers), and countless others.

 Mark Jacobson Touring: Kingsmen Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream); Rogue Artists Ensemble (The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone). Regional: TheatreSquared, Phoenix Theatre, LA Opera, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, Rogue Machine, Coeurage, The Blank, A Noise Within, The Antaeus Company, The Road, Playground-LA. On-Camera: Mark is a Series Regular on Nickelodeon's upcoming I Am Frankie. Other credits: Lopez; Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders; Haven; BuzzFeed's Married Under 25; and BroadwayWorld's Empty Space. He is an accomplished voice actor and has been seen or heard in dozens of commercials. Mark teaches acting and improv for the US Army in Europe. Training: The Antaeus Company; Groundlings; UCB; BADA; B.A., USC.

Photo by Richard Pietschmann
‘The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) which was written by Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin and directed by Jerry Kernion  runs through April 23 with tickets costing $30 to $45 at or  818-955-8101. The theatre is located at 4252 Riverside in Burbank.