Fox/Hollow and the Importance of Want


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The Community College of Philadelphia’s Fall 2018 production, Fox/Hollow, is a new show that leaves so much to the imagination when leaving the black box theater. Directed by Jonathan Pappas, professor in the English department at CCP, he and his cast of students caught lightning in a bottle with the play by its memorable characters, colorful costumes, use of puppetry, and engaging story. The show feels like a variant of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, where our hero is caught in a place completely out of the ordinary,  but does it satisfy?

It does if runtime is important. Fox/Hollow ran an hour long with a single act as most CCP shows do, but at the end of the show, I left wanting more. Specifically, I wanted to see it continue past the end. I want to see how Fox dealt with getting what she wanted. I want to see how the scrapper Egg turned out after being hunted down. I want to see exactly why the police officer wasn’t the one to share a body with Janel Murphy-Cobbs’ beautifully voice-acted character “the Mother Vixen.” I want a second act, and the story definitely could have benefitted from one.

The story can be confusing at times, which is a blessing, a curse, and is to be expected. Pappas himself called the play an “absurdist post-apocalyptic mind-bender” of a show, which is fitting given its themes. The symbolism in Fox/Hollow can be unreliable, foxes playing such a huge role, for example, but that adds to the levels of confusion and suspense that we are supposed to feel with the protagonist. We get to be frightened and weirded out with Fox and we can definitely feel for her.

The acting is top-notch. It did sound at times made to force chemistry between two characters that had none, but it was obvious that the cast enjoyed or, at the worst it could get, sacrificed their enjoyment to make the show even more enjoyable for the audience. The three prisoners, played by Kendohl Jordan, Aaron Myers, and Casey Kim, were all but bad as comic relief; the same with Opal, played by Fabian DeJesus. Clifford Barber, who plays Egg and utters a beautifully written monologue about Zoey Joyce’s character, Fox, needs to learn about being a scrapper, and I want to see more of him. We rarely see them, but the Master of the Hounds, played by Shakur Leatherbury, the Mechanic/Trotter, played by Danielle Medio, and the Keeper, played by Bambi Stoddart, manage to use their limited stage presence to be just as funny, colorful, and memorable as the rest of the cast.

So the story does satisfy, but could deserve, and may I be so bold as to say needs a second act. It would benefit for the sake of delving deeper into the psyche of these oddball characters and why they are hardwired

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Fox/Hollow and the Importance of Want