It's one of the little ironies of Chicago's timid and increasingly unimaginative commercial theater scene that two-thirds of the Reduced Shakespeare Company--Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor (Matthew Croke is the remaining third)--live in town yet no local producer has ever invited them to perform here. So the adept comic actors in this trio--best known for their witty, silly 90-minute version of the complete works of Shakespeare, have had to be content with performing around the world, selling out shows everywhere from London to New Zealand to Washington, D.C., and landing gigs on NPR and the BBC, for whom they wrote and performed a 30-minute abridgment of Wagner's Ring cycle. Last year another company produced their show, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), opening off-Broadway, but still no local producer has nibbled. Tichenor and Martin, who met at Berkeley, perform their parodies with an intelligence and attention to accuracy rare in a troupe as dedicated to physical comedy as this company is. But those who want to see their work will have to drive west to the edge of the known world, to the College of DuPage, where they'll premiere their 90-minute comic abridgment of the Old and New Testaments, The Bible--The Complete Word of God (Abridged). Then again, prophets and comedians are never honored in their own city. The Saturday show has been sold out, but tickets are still available for Sunday. College of DuPage Arts Center, main stage, 22nd and Park, Glen Ellyn, 708-942-4000. February 3 and 4: Saturday 8 PM; Sunday, 2:30 PM. $19. --Jack Helbig
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Carol Pratt.