The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)

by Michelle Sandoval

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday April 12, 2017

Marc Ginsburg, Mark Jacobson, and Zehra Fazal
Marc Ginsburg, Mark Jacobson, and Zehra Fazal  

The Falcon Theatre is out to tickle your funny bone this Spring with the final presentation of their season, "The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)." Full of laughs, gags, jokes (good and bad), this show will take you on a journey through the ages of comedy from its origins and beyond. So, if you've always wanted to know exactly why the chicken crossed the road, give this delightful production a chance to enlighten you.

No strangers to the world of comedy, writers Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, are masters of the genre. Reed is a graduate of Clown College and spent some time with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus working as a clown himself, and Tichenor is co-creator of nine "Complete (abridged)" comedies; so, you can rest assured these two know how to get a laugh out of you.

Director Jerry Kernion gives us a show that exemplifies the importance of comedy and more specifically how, especially in this day and age, it offers us a much-needed release from the stresses of everyday life. He states, "As far back as I can remember, comedy has always been a respite for me. A place of solace where I could forget the impending drudgery of responsibility and enjoy the positive physical reaction that laughter causes in my body and mind." "The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)" will do just that; allow you to leave your troubles behind and just enjoy a good hearty laugh.

The show stars three talented actors, Zehra Fazal, Marc Ginsburg and Mark Jacobson and follows them across time as they try to reconstruct the history of comedy. Going off of the information they find in a book, "The Art of Comedy," they reiterate its twelve chapters each focusing on a different comedic art form or time period. This leads up to them solving the mystery of the missing thirteenth chapter which will, in the end, complete the history of comedy entirely.

The production is a fast-paced bag of laughs with everything from vaudeville, slapstick, fart jokes, pie throwing, stand-up, lots of current political humor and just about every joke and gag in the books. Much of the material will leave you in stitches, but would comedy be without a few bad jokes? There are plenty of groan-worthy, shake your head, moments in the show, but they only add charm to the wildly funny production.

Fazal, Ginsburg, and Jacobson all deliver enthusiastic performances. The show speeds along very quickly which requires the actors to stay on their toes, which they managed to do effortlessly. Look for Fazal's lovely musical ode to comedians past and present in the second act; it was the highlight of the show.

Stephen Gifford creates a beautiful stage for the actors to tell their story. Vibrantly colorful and beautifully painted you won't be able to take your eyes off the art, which creates a stage-upon-a stage that tells a story all its own.

We all live such busy and expeditious lives filled with stress and responsibilities. It's often easy to forget to slow down for a bit and do something enjoyable and find the humor in life. So, leave your stresses behind, grab your rubber chicken and head on over to the Falcon Theatre for a night full of good, hard laughs... even if it is just for a little while.

"The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)" runs through April 23 at the Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr. in Burbank. For information or tickets, call 818-955-8101 or visit