Theater Review

La Fontaine - a pastoral fantasy Hebrew version by Ilana Loft Directed by Mina Yachin Gesher Theater. August 26

lafontaine (photo credit:)
lafontaine
(photo credit: )
You can't fool kids. If they like a show, they'll be quiet as mice, their attention complete. The many children in the theater liked this one. For a whole hour there wasn't a sound from entranced youngsters, some as young as three or four. On stage, eight young Gesher actors superbly masked - thanks to Olga Ivanov - as lion, wolf, grasshopper, fox, sparrow, ant and the many other animal heroes of La Fontaine's fables, mugged, mopped and mowed energetically through "The Grasshopper and the Ant," "The Sun and the Wind," "The Lovelorn Lion" and nine more. Nor did they forget to point the moral after each one. However for this adult, this La Fontaine is a self-conscious, selfimportant, overexaggerated, under-imaginative cartoon-type production that is so tongue in cheek, it is often impossible to understand what the actors are saying. On the other hand, this may be the precise point director Mina Yachin is trying to make. Perhaps her intention is to do just that - to create in three dimensions the kind of cartoon the children are accustomed to seeing on TV: direct, unsubtle, effective and as attention-getting as a brick through a window. If that is the aim, she has surely succeeded. And Michael Karamenko's deft set aids and abets.