After a brief one year hiatus, The Complete History of Charleston for Morons is back for its 13th year in Piccolo Spoleto’s Fringe Festival. The concept, which came to writer and Theatre 99 co-founder Greg Tavares after seeing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, takes over 300 years of Charleston history and breaks it down into a Saturday Night Live-esque approach. “It’s an irreverent look at history,” says Tavares, noting that the comedy trio (Tavares, co-writer R.W. Smith, and John Brennan, who is back in Charleston, fresh off of The Banana Monologues) will cover topics ranging from the Revolutionary War to — and Tavares says they still aren’t sure if they want to even go here or not — the Holy City’s pride and joy: T-Rav.
The self-proclaimed “fresh classic” prides itself on light-hearted audience interaction (locals, brush up on your history, lest you want to be put on the spot for being a complete and total moron when it comes to the Charles Towne’s olden days), a few props (think bonnets and handkerchiefs), along with a splatter of blatant call-outs of how locals are idiots, to take audiences all the way from discovery and colonization to the 20th century (cue, T-Rav). So plan accordingly.
“It’s fun to be able to create that feeling of chaos of a show,” says Tavares. But while the performance itself may feel as if it’s 100 percent improv, Tavares assures us that it’s all scripted and based off a year-long stint of research. So, you may come out with a bit more of a history lesson than you anticipated after all.