Do you know why Line Street is called Line Street?
What was Meeting Street called before?
Who was the first mayor of Charleston?
"We are the history and you are the morons" was how performers at Theatre 99 started "A Complete History of Charleston for Morons" Saturday, part of the Piccolo Fringe festival. And rightly so. Even the handful of locals at the sold-out show couldn't answer the trivia questions.
It's impressive to see the improv group, consisting of Greg Tavares, R.W. Smith and John R. Brennan, cover over 300 years of American history in one hour. The three (not originally from Charleston) journeyed hilariously through the history of the city and the Lowcountry.
The 1600s were done as a "Reality Show Roundup" that included "The Amazing Race" (to the Real New World), which covered the numerous European invasions. Using spot-lighting, the trio acted out engaging fictitious scenes from the Siege of Charleston and the Revolutionary War as Mel Gibson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Brad Pitt. They tactfully dealt with the subject of slavery and incorporated Canadian stereotypes into the sketch.
Brennan played comic relief during the history-heavy seriousness. He persistently stressed his love for pies and actor Tom Selleck. The improv closer to the end of the show offered one of the most memorable moments of the night. The banter was quick, the delivery was flawless and the content intelligent and clever.
Known as Charleston's home for improve comedy, the 14-year-old Theatre 99 is definitely "where the boredom goes to die" (their tag line). This show is recommended for all morons, and even some smart people. It runs for four more days.
Angela Zonunpari is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.