The wisdom of Aesopâ??s fables comes to life in â??The Fabulous Fable Factory,â?? a Tacoma Musical Playhouse (TMP) production through its affiliate, Tacoma Childrenâ??s Musical Theater.
Sofia Lewis, a student at Meeker Middle School, plays the central character, Margot. One day she ventures into a factory run by Aesop (Dan Engelhard). He has a machine, made up of the rest of the cast, which generates his fables. It is missing a key component, the part that uncovers the moral of each of his stories. The remainder of the play has him and the other characters testing Margot to determine if she has the wisdom needed to serve this function.
Although only 12, Lewis performs with much confidence and poise, no doubt a reflection on the fact she has been performing in TMP productions for half her life.
Maria Valenzuela is the director. She keeps the action moving and the six acts fairly short, good ideas for a play aimed at children.
The props are simple yet effective. For the tale of the dog and his shadow, several characters wave pieces of cloth to represent a river. The dog, played by Pluto (Jacob Bayless de Costa), drops his pork chop into it.
The lion and the mouse has Wadsworth (Andrew Fry) playing the big cat and Gretel (Julia Reese) playing the mouse who nearly ends up as his appetizer. Gretel plays the mouse as a hip jazz scenester, complete with sunglasses and beret.
The tale of the tortoise and the hare has some modern pop culture influences, which children in the audience likely wonâ??t get. Straucey (Heather Malroy) plays the hare as a cocky boxer, seemingly based on Muhammad Ali.
The famous race between the two animals takes them down the aisles and through the lobby before ending on stage. The tortoise is played by Pluto, who crosses the finish line to the theme music from â??Chariots of Fire.â??
While â??The Fabulous Fable Factoryâ?? may be geared toward children, the lessons to be learned from Aesopâ??s fables are quite relevant to adults as well, making this a play truly appropriate for audience members of all ages.
â??The Fabulous Fable Factoryâ?? plays at 2 p.m. May 26-27. Tacoma Musical Playhouse is located at 7116 Sixth Ave. in Tacoma. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children. For more information, call (253) 565-6867.