Aesop in Rancho

By Noah Jeffery

At the Lewis Playhouse in Victoria Gardens, there have been many plays such as To Kill a Mocking Bird, Sweeny Todd, and The Phantom Tollbooth. Now there will be a new play and it is based off of the stories from “Aesop’s Fables” and directed by Robert Castro. Written by award winning Los Angeles playwright, Luis Alfaro, is called Aesop in Rancho Cucamonga.Aesop in Rancho Cucamonga, is about a little bear cub that travels down the foothills and into Victoria Gardens where it gets lost, and then has to find its way back home. Along the way it meets a cactus, lizards, and ants who tell her adapted versions of Aesop’s life lessons.

Aesop’s Fables is a compilation of stories involving humanistic animals but with a twist: at the end of each story, the characters would learn something that would make their lives better. Writing these types of stories has been popularized by not only Aesop, but by such authors as the Grimm Brothers.

The author of these tales, Aesop, a slave who was believed to have lived in Samos, is depicted as being an ugly, deformed dwarf by Planudes, the man who wrote Aesop’s biography. The Grimm Brothers wrote stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. In the original ending of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’s stomach is cut open with scissors and then killed. Parents have used stories like this because it would teach kids life lessons in a way they could understand.

One of the most popular ones, which will be used in the play, is “The Tortoise and The Hare.” In this story, a rabbit boasts that it can beat any animal in a race, but then the Tortoise challenges the Rabbit and the Rabbit accepts. In the end though, the Tortoise wins and a nearby spectator says to the stunned Rabbit, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Stories like this will be told in the play Aesop in Rancho Cucamonga. This play runs from Saturday, October 26 to Sunday, November 10. Tickets start at $16 for kids and seniors and $18 for everyone else.