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Release: April 16, 1999

Reduced Shakespeare Company's 'Millennium Musical' covers 1,000 years in 100 minutes

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Reduced Shakespeare Company will present "The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged): History Ain't What it Used to Be!" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 4 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The antic trio of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) specializes in hilariously abridged versions of monumental -- and otherwise serious -- works. They have miniaturized all the Shakespeare plays (also known as "Honey, We Shrunk the Bard"), condensed the whole of American history to 90 minutes, and distilled the Bible down to the essential blasphemies in "The Bible -- The Complete Word of God (abridged)."

In their first-ever musical, just in time for the millennium, they whiz through the famous and infamous events, the discoveries and disasters, the heroes and villains of the last 1,000 years.

The RSC developed its uniquely irreverent style performing at pass-the-hat California Renaissance Faires in the early 1980s. Since then their more upscale venues have included the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.

The RSC comically condensed the year 1992 for Time magazine's "Man of the Year" celebration in London, and on television the group has reduced the Edinburgh Festival for the BBC, as well as the soap opera "Glenroe" for RTE Ireland. They have appeared on "NBC's Today Show," "Entertainment Tonight," CNN's "Show Biz This Week" and New Zealand's "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" (they lost). They also reviewed Zefirelli's film of "Hamlet" for Vogue magazine in Britain.

On radio, the company condensed "Gone With The Wind II -- Scarlet Fever" for the BBC, and their radio series, "The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show" can currently be heard on the BBC World Service and has been released for sale on the Laughing Stock label. The Reduced Shakespeare Company has also been a regular contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

Everybodys Whole Foods is the corporate sponsor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company performance through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Remaining tickets for the Reduced Shakespeare Company are $22.50 and $20. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial
(319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web.

Learn much more about the Reduced Shakespeare Company on the World Wide Web at