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Review: ‘Aesop’s Fables’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

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All of the characters in Lee Cortopassi’s colorful cartoon-like adaptation of Aesop’s Fables sparkle, and speak, just like the original ones drawn up way back circa 600 B.C. But they also snap, crackle and pop with super-duper sound effects, designed by Daniel Ison, cool lighting concocted by Joseph Glodek, and an exceptionally savvy ensemble.

Michael Gamache. Photo by Shawn May.

Michael Gamache. Photo by Shawn May.

Aesop’s age-old morality tales are refortified by Quintessence, bringing the immemorial messages of wisdom, reasoning, friendship and trust renewed vivacity, along with a contemporary element of comedy, and maybe a bit of manga.

Aesop’s tricksters, tyrants, fools and good common folk are enfolded in some hilarious hijinks under Cortopassi’s direction, where superb sound, music and lighting integrate with acting (and sometimes stylized movement) to make the overall production, especially fight and chase scenes, appear almost animated. The cast (Emily Fernande, Faith Fossett, Michael Gamache and Liam Mulshine) shines on a cleverly constructed set, conceived by Cortopassi, featuring brightly illustrated movable flats which are well–utilized for chasing, changing into various characters, re-setting scenes, and more. Zany costumes, courtesy of Costume Advisors Jane Casanave and Chris Lione, lend authenticity and style while working well with movement. Preposterous paper props, used to great advantage by the ensemble, wonderfully accentuate the silly aspects of the show are lots of fun, and elicit extra laughter.

As a part of Quintessence Family Classic Series, there is something for everyone of any age to take with them, and to thoroughly enjoy!

Running Time: 50 minutes, with no intermission.

Faith Fossett and Liam Mulshine. Photo by Shawn May.

Faith Fossett and Liam Mulshine. Photo by Shawn May.

Aesop’s Fables plays through Sept 20, 2017 at Quintessence Theatre Group performing at The Sedgwick Theater – 7137 Germantown Avenue (Mount Airy), in Philadelphia, PA. For tickets call (215) 987-4450, or purchase them online.

The show is also scheduled to travel to a number of schools after its run at the Sedgwick Theatre venue. For more information on the off-site shows, email Janet@QuintessenceTheatre.org.

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