“FOUR STARS – Absolutely charming new interpretation of the Hare-Tortoise race… A treat for everyone, adults as well as kids.” –Around the Town Chicago
“Fable-ous! is fabulous… A family-friendly, fun-loving, heart-warming adventure.” –TheFourthWalsh.com
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 merchandising 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.
Recommended for kids 5 and up. Children under 2 are not permitted.
A new play inspired by Aesop‘s fables
By Chris Hainsworth
Directed by Heather Currie
Audio Description and Touch Tour
Saturday, January 21
Touch tour: 10:00am
Saturday, January 28 at 1:00pm
Saturday, February 4 at 3:00pm
Visit our Accessibility page for more information.
|FUN & GAMES FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES|
Join us any Saturday or Sunday at noon during the run of Fable-ous! (following the 11am show, or before the 1pm show) for our Stories Come Alive! Hour.An interactive storytelling session with on-your-feet theatre games exploring the book behind the play — all designed to make positive connections between your children and literature that will last a lifetime.Only $5 per child for the workshop! Reservations are recommended (though not required).
Contact the box office at 773-761-4477 for more information.
Chris Causer (Lion)
Chris is proud to be making his Lifeline debut. Other Chicago credits include Frank O’Connor in Ayn Rand in Love and Ben in Curse of the Goat(MCL Chicago), Roger in RENT (AGB), Jack/Jesus in Reefer Madness (Cult Camp Productions). Other credits include Weaker People (Stephen Sondheim Broadway Theatre – One Night Engagement), Anselmo in Man of La Mancha (Merry Go Round Playhouse), Greg in Reasons to be Pretty, and George Gibbs in Our Town (District Theatre – IL). Chris is an alumnus of Circle in the Square Theatre School (NYC).
Krista D'Agostino (Mouse)
This is Krista’s first show with Lifeline. A company member with WildClaw Theatre, she was recently seen in The Revenants, WormFood – Nicks & Cuts, and Deathscribe. Other recent Chicago acting credits include Assistance and I Love You, I Think (LiveWire). Krista is a teaching artist and director with Mudlark Theater, a youth theater in Evanston, where she directed and helped to create original adaptations of Comedy of Errors, Pandora’s Box, Aesop’s Fables, Pinocchio, The Nutcracker, and Little Women. Chicago directing credits include Fog Island (Filament Theatre Ensemble) and The Mistakes Madeline Made (LiveWire).
Mollie Rehner (Tortoise)
Mollie is thrilled to make her debut appearance with Lifeline! An Emmy Award recipient for her comedy show SideShow Sketch Comedy, Mollie is also a producer for The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival and The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. Other recent credits include: Rehner & Nixon(Stage 773), Hard Candy Comedy (iO Comedy Network), Unlikely Company (Stage 773), Liquid Courage (The Second City), and We Gotta Bingo (Chicago Theater Works). Rehner has also performed in The NYC Sketch Comedy Festival, The Dallas Comedy Festival, Out of Bounds Festival (Austin, TX), Del Close Marathon (NYC), and the Milwaukee Sketch Festival. IMDb credits include: Late Night With Conan O’Brien, ESPN, and Aziz Ansari: 30 Minutes Or Less.
Michael Angelo Smith (Hare)
This is Micheal’s first production with Lifeline, and his second production here in Chicago after moving here in June 2016. Other credits include: The People’s History of the United States (Quest Theatre Ensemble), Topdog/Underdog (Teatro UNAM in Mexico City, Mexico), and Vigils(Vandal Theatre Lab). He is also cast in The Right Brain Project’s production of Electra Garrigó opening in March, and will be training to become a Blue Man later this year.
Brian Tochterman Jr. (Fox)
Brian returns to the Lifeline stage, where he’s been seen in Lyle Finds His Mother and Sparky! (U/S). Other recent credits include Orientation Day(Otherworld Theatre), Campion’s Will (ATHE Natl’ Conference) and two runs of El Stories: Holiday Train. Brian also performs improv all around Chicago with his indie team LL Cool Beans. He is represented by Shirley Hamilton and is a proud Loyola Chicago alum.
Michael Rawls (Understudy)
Michael is excited to be a part of his first show with Lifeline Theatre. His past credits include: Lorenzo: The Rat Slayer (Just Ranting the Blues Productions), The Girl in the Train (Chicago Folks Operetta), and Hunger Artist (Glorious Bomb Squad Productions). His upcoming project will be The Wiz with Kokandy Productions. He would like to thank his family and friends for their undying support.
Sarah Beth Tanner (Understudy)
Sarah Beth is thrilled to be working with Lifeline for the first time! Although a native of Alabama, Sarah Beth has made Chicago home since 2013. She holds a degree in Musical Theatre from Birmingham-Southern College and has performed as an actor and musician all over the United States. Chicago credits include: Borderlands: Three Chords and the Truth(Underscore Theatre Company) and The Grapes of Wrath (u/s – The Gift Theatre). Sarah Beth also helps find new connections between the culinary and performing arts as a founding member of Plateful Company.
Chris Hainsworth (Adaptor)
A proud ensemble member since 2010, Fable-ous! is Chris’s fourth adaptation for Lifeline and his first for the KidSeries. He has also performed in nine Lifeline Mainstage shows, most recently Miss Holmes. He has had other written works performed with WildClaw Theatre and the Strawdog Hit Factory, and he has performed with both, as well as with The House Theatre of Chicago.
Heather Currie (Director)
Heather has been a Lifeline ensemble member since 2013 and most recently directed Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters for the KidSeries. She has appeared in Jane Eyre (2014); One Came Home; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Duck For President (2008 and 2012); Click, Clack, Moo (2010); Dooby Dooby Moo; How To Survive a Fairy Tale; and Click, Clack, BOO!; and is excited to return as Pig in Giggle, Giggle, Quack this spring! Most recent Chicago acting credits include: The Wicked Witch in WOZ: A Rock Cabaret(Victory Gardens) and Lady Montague in Romeo&Juliet (Along the Way Productions). Favorite directing credits include: The Fantasticks, South Pacific, and Schoolhouse Rock Live! Heather teaches screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago.
Kate Reed (Stage Manager)
Kate is excited to be working with Lifeline again after most recently assistant stage managing Northanger Abbey. Previously at Lifeline, she has worked on Fillet of Solo 2015 and 2016, Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Soon I Will Be Invincible, One Came Home, Jane Eyre, and Monstrous Regiment. Her other Chicago area credits include work with The Side Project, the Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center, and The Fine Print Theatre Company. She has a degree in Performance Studies from Northwestern.
Aly Renee Amidei (Costume Designer)
Aly is a proud Lifeline ensemble member, where she designed costumes for Northanger Abbey, Soon I Will Be Invincible, One Came Home, The Three Musketeers, The Woman in White, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Watership Down. She was the costume designer and also the adapter of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. She returns to Lifeline this spring to design Her Majesty’s Will. She has designed for WildClaw, Strawdog, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Irish Theatre of Chicago, Buffalo Theater Ensemble, Stage Left, Artistic Home, House Theater, Piven, Teatro Vista, and Vitalist. She is the Assistant Professor of Costume Design at University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Designer)
Diane is thrilled to be working with Lifeline again. Diane’s previous design work at Lifeline includes Northanger Abbey, Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters, One Came Home, The Velveteen Rabbit (2014), and A Tale of Two Cities. Diane’s other design credits include work with Rivendell, Raven, Sideshow, Boho, Babes with Blades, TimeLine, Northlight, Chicago Dramatists, City Lit, Court Theatre, INTIMAN, Trinity Rep, Wheaton College, and the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. She is a proud member of USA829, and an ensemble member with Rivendell Theatre.
Anthony Ingram (Sound Designer)
Tony is very happy to be back at Lifeline after having most recently designed sound for Miss Buncle’s Book. A freelance Sound Designer and theatre generalist, Tony has worked with a number of companies in the Chicagoland area, including Signal Ensemble Theatre (his artistic home for over a decade), Factory Theatre, The Right Brain Project, Chicago Public Schools, and Shattered Globe Theatre. On a daily basis you can find him at the Shedd Aquarium helping the dolphins get their emails. Much love to Stephanie, Kyle, Shaun and Jill, and dedication to Marlene.
Jenny Pinson (Properties Designer)
Jenny graduated from The Theatre School of DePaul University in 2006. Since then she has propped shows for Emerald City (Hansel and Gretel, Dr. Doolittle, Cinderella, Peter Pan), Route 66 (High Fidelity: The Musical), Oakton Community College (A Flea in Her Ear, M. Butterfly, Harvest), Drury Lane Oakbrook (Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical), American Theater Company (Disgraced), Theater Wit (The North Plan), A New Colony (Rewilding Genius), A Red Orchid Theatre (Pilgrim’s Progress), Steep Theatre (Posh), Light Opera Works (Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady), Remy Bumppo (Seascape, Pygmalion), as well as many productions at The University of Chicago, where she is the Props Manager for the Theater and Performance Studies department.
Joe Schermoly (Scenic Designer)
Joe is excited to be part of the Fable-ous! team at Lifeline, where he has designed sets for Lions in Illyria, The One and Only Ivan, Midnight Cowboy, and other plays. As a Griffin ensemble member, credits include Pocatello, Titanic, Spelling Bee, Flare Path, Punk Rock, Port, Constant Wife, and more. Other credits: Constellations (Steppenwolf); Hand to God, Samsara(Victory Gardens); The Watson Intelligence, Mr. Burns, Completeness(Theatre Wit); Pirandello’s Henry IV, Travesties (Remy Bumppo); American Idiot (The Hypocrites); Idomeneus, The Ugly One (Sideshow); The Seafarer, Lay Me Down Softly (Irish Theatre of Chicago). Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and has received two After Dark Awards and three Jeff Nominations.
From Around the Town Chicago
Your Kids will love “Fable-us!” at Lifeline Theatre
January 19, 2017
By Carol Moore
Highly 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!
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.
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.
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.
Family-friendly, Fun-loving, Heart-warming Adventure!
January 19, 2017
By Katy Walsh
Lifeline’s current show reminds me a lot of “Toy Story.” While the colorful shenanigans is kid-appealing, the sharp wit throughout amuses the adults. Playwright Chris Hainsworth tells the inside story of the legendary race between tortoise and hare. The tale is told in reflection by Mollie Rehner (tortoise). The adorable Rehner chronicles the encounter of meeting her athletic hero, Michael Angelo Smith (hare). Smith is a champion runner. His celebrity status puts him in the spotlight. His awe-struck fans like Brian Tochterman Jr. (fox) and Christopher Causer (lion/wolf) want selfies with him. The less tech-savvy Rehner simply wants his handwritten autograph in her book. A devious Krista D’Agostino (mouse) sees the clash between the unpretentious Rehner and flashy Smith and sets up the competition.
Some of the best parts of this show is Hainsworth’s word play. Smith insists he’ll win the race. Rehner agrees that ‘probably’ he will. Smith unravels over her continual use of ‘probably.’ Although their banter is hilarious, Rehner also delivers the life nugget of ‘you don’t know until you try.’ FABLE-OUS is chocked full of uplifting messages for kids and adults about the importance of friendship, honesty and kindness. Rehner’s infectious desire to enjoy their experience together melts Smith’s competitive nature. Their transformation from rivals to pals is delightfully engaging. Unexpectedly, I also learned the real difference between a turtle and a tortoise and a rabbit and a hare. All these wonderful life lessons are delivered during a high-spirited race to the finishline.
Director Heather Currie orchestrates a playful adventure. From Rehner’s tiny steps to Smith’s long-legged hops, her ensemble energetically tackle the animal kingdom. Besides the central story, Hainsworth skillfully weaves in other Aesop’s fables. As an elegantly-dressed, tea-sipping wolf, Causer listens to D’Agostino’s revenge plan. During their conversation, offstage a boy keeps yelling ‘wolf’ and giggling. Eventually, Causer positions himself to pounce. The subtle reference to ‘the boy that cried wolf’ is incredibly clever. Later, Causer, now as a lion resembling Sammie Hagar, has a thorn pulled out by D’Agostino. It’s the layering of fables and morals that keep the show entertaining especially for the adults. Even sour grapes gets a mention in Hainsworth’s tribute to all things Aesop.
Special nod out to Costume Designer Aly Renee Amidei for dressing all the characters in unique personalities. Tochterman’s fox costume is a salute to icon Hunter S. Thompson. His outfit adds hilarity to his crazy antics as a fox.
FABLE-OUS is fabulous! It’s a family-friendly, fun-loving, heart-warming adventure.