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LA Theater Review

LA Review: 'The Complete History of Theatre…Abridged'

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"The Complete History of Theatre…Abridged" sets an ambitious goal that it fails to accomplish. Four actors, under the leadership of writer-director-actor Angela Sonner, take the stage attempting to give a whirlwind tour of theater history from cavemen to the present day, and the results are underwhelming.

The show is intended for children, but while kids might enjoy the corny jokes, the historical tidbits are rushed through so quickly that they'll go over their heads, and scenes from Sophocles and Shakespeare are too slow to hold anyone's attention, child or otherwise.

Children's theater requires a lot of energy, and although Sonner gives a bubbly and enthusiastic performance, her comrades are too hesitant: Lines are fumbled, songs are sung halfheartedly, and opportunities for laughs are missed.

The concept behind the show is intriguing, but Sonner and her crew need to go back to the drawing board with it.

Presented by Room 19 Productions as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. June 10–24. Remaining performances: Sun., June 17 and 24, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (323) 962-1632 or www.hollywoodfringe.org.

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