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Tales for Children Less Than Three Years Old
by Eugene Ionesco
translated by Helen R. Lane

I spent most of Saturday afternoon Sept. 29th in the restored Connelly Theater on East 4th Street dazzled by the professional productions from several very different companies.

Each day until the end of the festival I’ll offer a review of a production. By all means call the festival’s information number or check out their URL both listed at the bottom.

I saw the final production of Tales for Children Less Than Three Years Old. The script is a witty exaggeration of the ageless parental ritual of storytelling to children. Yes, it can drive you mad and sometimes you do tell stories in disjunctive and abreviated versions, or even not exactly the truth, just to get a little extra sleep time for yourself. I know, I’ve been there. But on stage it asked the question, Can you tell children too much, or perhaps too little, to satisfy their curiosity?

Sitting in the theater were several very young children. I overhead one of them ask her parents, (quite loudly which is why I stopped going to afternoon performances of anything other than adult sex comedies) “What kind of story is this, Mommy?” and “You never tell me stories like this.” The surely embarrassed mother replied, “Listen carefully darling, this is the story I bought for you. I hired these actors to do it for you.” Oy!!

John Blaylock as Father, and Uma Incrocci as Josette worked well together. I saw the familial connection between them, and the stuffed doll that plays an important role. Celia Montgomery, who played Jacquelin the maid and
Mother, dropped in and out of her difficult roles. Her cockney accent came and went, while her Mother was a curious mix of sleepover date and high fashion hat model.

Edward Einhorn, the Ionesco Festival’s Artistic Director, Curator and high energy force field, directed Tales. The scenes in the parents’ bedroom was true to the pain and chaos many parents feel the morning after a long
night out. Alas, there is no escape, even for the hungover, when stories must be told.

Opening for Tales was the short curtain raiser “Foursome” which kept the audience in stitches. It is funnier than Tales and was superbly acted by Douglas Martin, Andrew Rothkin, Keynan Shadd, and Irene Sankoff. Gloria
Sims Bowen’s mad shop of horrors had all the earmarks of Monty Python and the Marx Brothers on a tear. Ensemble’s of this quality should be allowed to continue their performances at other venues.

Call the Festival office at: (212) 387-2043
Or: www.ionescofestival.com


If you have any comments or want to notify me about performances or shows, you can e-mail me at humornet@aol.com.

Copyright © 2001 Larry Litt


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