Review: The Complete History of America (Abridged)


Wacky! Zany! Kooky! Weirdly accurate? These are just a few words and phrases to describe Piedmont College Theatre’s final show: “The Complete History of America (abridged).”

The plot of this show is fairly simple, but it’s taken in several directions. The actors reenact famous historical events in America’s history while poking fun at said history and pointing out some serious flaws. It goes all the way back to Amerigo Vespucci and how he named the continent. From then on, it tackles the settlement of Jamestown, the Revolutionary War, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Civil War. It skips over the fifty years between 1865 and 1917 because “nothing funny happened.” The show quickly goes over the Twentieth century and parodies more and more events along the way. It ends with some not so subtle jokes about Bill Clinton and his impeachment.

The show is full of political satire, pop culture references, and some rather sad truths about American history. Typically, the show is comprised of three people, but there was a rather large cast in this production. One person in particular who stands out is freshman Garrett Smith. Smith played several characters in the production including Amerigo Vespucci, a pastor in the Salem Witch Trials, and Ronald Reagan. Another person who stood out in the production was senior Ansleigh Harrison, who played Thomas Jefferson and Detective Spade Diamond in the final film noir-themed scene.

Unlike other Piedmont shows, this one is very interactive and invites the audience to participate with them. Be prepared to ask questions, hand out equipment, and be sprayed with water or silly string. The actors make the use of all the space in the Mainstage and walks through the aisles throughout the show.

So don’t be shocked when you walk through Swanson Mainstage and see every single flag in American history hanging from the rafters. “The Complete History of America (abridged)” premieres Thursday April 11, at 7:30 pm. The show will have two more 7:30 pm showings on Friday and Saturday with a final 2 pm performance on Sunday April 14. Purchase tickets on