The Complete History of America (abridged)
"....genuinely funny....Darren Bridgett, Cassidy Brown and Mick Mize are just the talented actors needed for an improvised and wacky show like this, judging their audience as any good stand-up comedian would. This is a trio that is able to stall while someone changes costume, and tell you that they’re stalling, but still make it funny….a comedic tour de force."
Kelly Dunleavy, San Anselmo - Fairfax Patch
"The Marin Shakespeare Festival’s revival of 'The Complete History of America (abridged)' is a show ideally suited for outdoor summer viewings and cleverly aimed at capturing the attention of a younger set….
That audience, young and old alike, is an integral part of the experience of this show. Almost uniquely among the offerings of Shakespeare companies, it bears mentioning that as a member of that audience, one should be prepared to get a little involved.
Props are tossed about, questions are posed, and cast members at times charge around like the rambunctious kids they mean to inspire.
It all contributes to an irresistible energy, and…it is quite impossible not to be entertained throughout and to await the next bit of tomfoolery with a kind of shocked fascination….
It…never fails to entertain, and is at best wise in its audacity and at least riveting in its energy.”
– Evan Wynns, EDGE San Francisco
“After attending the opening night of Marin Shakespeare Company's The Complete History of America (abridged) I'm convinced that the one who tells the American story holds the key to its truth. And the version this production tells is definitely worth seeing!
Actors Darren Bridgett, Cassidy Brown and Mick Mize under the direction of Robert Currier led the audience on a wild goose chase across the 200+ landscape of American history. Sitting beneath the stars at the Forest Meadows Amphitheater (Dominican University, San Rafael, CA) everyone was kept spell bound as the cast romped merrily from Amerigo Vespucci to President Barak Obama in less than two hours.
They held us captive as they zig-zagged into and out of American aspirations, ingenuity and inspirations. From start to finish, well-timed antics and patriotic colors framed this fast-paced production that ultimately showed us how Americans - a unique species on the planet - may not really be so different from their neighbors….
I have written before that the distance between folklore and history is not as vast as many would think. This play confirms for me that while history chronicles the data of events in a particular documented sequence (who did what when), it is the folklore - the beliefs, traditions and customs of a certain people - that actually fill in the blanks of our humanity.
The actors' perfect timing and obvious chemistry captured the audience's attention. Not a moment was wasted. Even my teenage daughter and her twenty-something cousin were kept in stitches as the scenes flew by, reminding all of us - regardless of our age - how we got from Vespucci's map to President Obama's bump and grind.”
– Karen Pierce Gonzalez, FolkHeart Press
“’America’s’ three cast members, Darren Bridgett, Cassidy Brown and Mick Mize carry on the lunatic tradition with a combination of manic zeal and professional cool. They are ready for anything….
There is politics in this show, but that’s to be expected. There is also some raunchy humor from time to time….[It’s] fast, creative, and a zesty filling for Marin Shakespeare Company’s summer sandwich, playing in repertory between ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Tempest.’”
– Rosine Reynolds / The Ark
”It’s irreverent, clever and silly in its takes on America’s history.
Darren Bridgett, Cassidy Brown and Mick Mize are three astoundingly talented actors who deliver madcap mayhem that is part script, part improvisation and all zaniness. When an onstage cymbal unexpectedly breaks off its chain, Bridgett can’t get it to gong anymore so he tosses it offstage, where it lands with a thud. He says, ‘heavy symbolism’ and waits for the laughs. He gets them….
Don’t sit in the first rows if you want to avoid a spray of water during the battle scenes, and remember the actors can hear you and will use your remarks as part of their ad-libs and zingers. It’s all great fun and the audience loves it.”
– Cari Pace-Koch, MarinScope
“Marin Shakespeare Company is giving their younger audience a break by presenting an updated version of Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor's comical, impertinent three-man romp through the annals our country's past. This is being performed by three of the zaniest comics in the Bay area: Darren Bridget, Cassidy Brown and Mick Mize. As Darren Bridget tells the audience, ‘It's not the length of your history but what you do with it.’
….The whole team is so versatile that they can morph instantly from one character to another, and their timing is impeccable.
Director Robert Currier has staged this tour de force extremely well, keeping the pace fast and furious. Mark Robinson's set design is a funny take on a wall of historical figures that are fun to see. Costumes by Michael Berg, lighting by Ellen Brooks and props by Joel and Toni Eis add to the enjoyment of the show.
– Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway
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