Hand-puppeteer William Mack grins and introduces what he calls his "Cliff Notes version of Reader's Digest theater." We then get "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" in 8 1/2 minutes, with foam-ball heads in hats and collars enacting Dickens' characters from atop Mack's white-gloved hands.
Similar hand-puppet theatrics unfold "Gone With the Wind," "a blow-by-blow account in 13 minutes," and other stage classics (a ballet and a Shakespeare comedy).
Interspersed with this abbreviation are satiric video inserts of life on the road and backstage views of the troupe's raffishly entitled Royal Short Company.
But "An Evening with the r.s.c. (royal short company)" at the Little Victory Theater is a curiosity at best. The concept is blithesome but the two-act, multimedia show which Mack has toured with worldwide, generates torpor, not charm.