Saturday August 19th 2017

“Fable-ous” reviewed by Carol Moore

fable-ous-8919Highly Recommended **** Lifeline Theatre’s newest children’s play, “Fable-ous!”, is a treat for everyone, adults as well as kids.  Chris Hainsworth’s absolutely charming new interpretation of the Hare-Tortoise race takes the audience back stage, as it were, to hear the real story behind the famous race.  If you’re looking for good children’s plays, Lifeline has some of the best in the city.  They’re consistently bright, cheerful and well-written.  Hurry and get your tickets, your kids will love “Fable-ous!”  You will too!  4 BIG Spotlights.

I love watching children watching a live performance.  They are totally in the moment.  If they’re enjoying the production, you can always tell by their body language.  “Fable-ous!” had the kids from the beginning.  They engaged and reacted, laughing at the jokes, booing the villain, even cheering.  One little boy sitting in the first row was so excited he was literally bouncing in his chair.

Tortoise (Mollie Rehner) began by explaining that the slogan, “Slow but steady” was something PR people made up to explain how she won the race against the hare.  Tortoise said, Harrington T. Jordan (Michael Angelo Smith), the fastest hare in the world, was her hero.  When she heard he’d be making a personal appearance nearby, she went to see him, autograph book in hand.  When everyone else was done taking selfies with their hero, she asked for an autograph.fable-ousprod_01

Tortoise told Harrington that she was his biggest fan and that she was a runner, too.  Since she was a tortoise, Harrington wasn’t too impressed.  When Tortoise said that Harrington would probably beat her in a race, the word ‘probably’ made him crazy.  Overhearing this, Mildred Mouse (Krista D’Agostino) jumped in with a challenge/bet on a race between Harrington and Tortoise on a course which she would choose.  Harrington didn’t want to race, until Tortoise again said he’d probably beat her.  Of course, Mouse did everything she could to make sure Harrington lost the race, dropping thorns and setting traps along the course.

Mollie Rehner was just about perfect as the Tortoise.  Wearing a colorful padded shell on her back and a brightly colored bike helmet on her head, she defined cute.   Her tiny little steps as she ‘ran’ the race had the kids laughing.

Michael Angelo Smith wore a star-spangled red warm-up suit with extra tall ears and a tail.  His long and lanky build was just right for a hare.

Krista D’Agostino, who has one of the best evil laughs I’ve ever heard, was a terrific villain.  She made the kids laugh whenever one of her schemes was thwarted.fable-ousprod_02

Brian Tochterman, Jr. played the not-so-smart Fox, while Chris Causer played the very vain Lion and the smart and sneaky Wolf.

Kudos to Costume Designer, Aly Renee Amidei, on the bright, cheerful and fun costumes.

Harrington T. Jordan was the fastest (and most famous) Hare that ever lived – so how did he end up losing his race against the Tortoise? The true story starts with a wager with a devious Mouse and ends in a madcap dash through the wilds of Lion Country with a fortune in endorsements and merchandizing on the line. But the fix is in, and a simple footrace soon becomes something much more complicated (and silly) as traps and predators lie in wait around every corner. Forget what you think you know about the Tortoise and the Hare and take the time to make some new friends in a world premiere comedy that turns the world of Aesop’s fables on its ear.

 

“Fable-ous!” is recommended for children ages five and up.  Children under age two are not permitted. 

“Fable-ous!” runs through February 19th at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago.

Running time is one hour, no intermission.

lifeline3Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Tickets are $15.  Free parking with shuttle service to the theater is available in Lifeline’s remote lot at the northeast corner of Morse and Ravenswood.

FYI (773) 761-4477 or www.lifelinetheatre.com.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and or Childrens Theater and click at
“Fable-Ous”

 

 

 

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