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LOVE AND OTHER FABLES is a romantic screwball musical comedy
set on the Greek island of Samos in 600 B.C.
Aesop, a cocky "unsellable slave," finally meets his match
when he is purchased by the philosopher Xanthus
as a husband for his sexually frustrated slave, Lycaena.

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Xanthus is impressed with his wit and, despite his wife’s objections,
sees it as a perfect pairing (I’VE GOT FABLES).

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Aesop falls head over heels for Lycaena but she has been praying to
the Goddess Aphrodite for a handsome hero to sweep her off her feet,
and mistakenly thinks Aesop’s fellow slave, the virile but dim-witted
Philocalus is her husband to be (SOME PERFECT STRANGER).

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Disappointed, she takes one look at Aesop and rejects him.
To eliminate a potential rival for Lycaena’s affection,
Aesop arranges for Philocalus to return to his native land of
Lydia in hopes of becoming a court musician.

Lydia is ruled by the wealthy and miserly King Croesus (ONLY UNIMPORTANT THINGS).

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Once Philocalus arrives there, he has no trouble gaining the attention
of Croesus’ head courtesan and confidante,
the alluring but crafty Delphinia (IT STARTED WITH A BANG).

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Croesus is unexpectedly challenged by Nectanabo, King of Egypt,
who has sent him the first of three conundrums to be solved on penalty
of forfeiting land and huge sums of money.
Croesus is stumped but Philocalus serendipitously
comes to the rescue when he remembers the answer to a riddle
Aesop had told him. Croesus, confusing him for a wise man,
instantly promotes him to high office.

Back in Samos, Aesop tries in vain to woo Lycaena by serenading her
in the style of the god Pan (LYCAENA) but she still refuses to marry him.

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Meanwhile, in Lydia, Croesus is presented with the ridiculously
complex second conundrum which Philocalus,
not surprisingly, cannot solve. But, with Delphinia’s help,
he manages to get sent back to Samos to seek Aesop’s help
under the guise of threatening war against Samos
unless they pay a tax to Croesus.

Catastrophe suddenly returns from an extended trip to Delphi
only to discover that Lycaena is still unmarried.
Fearing divine retribution from the Aphrodite, she springs into action,
arranging her marriage to Aesop.
Though he adores her, Aesop realizes how unhappy
Lycaena is (OUTSIDE LOOKING IN).

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Lycaena is taken by Catastrophe to Mme. Mnemosyne’s dress shop
for a wedding dress. Aesop, realizing he can never make her happy,
arrives with a plan to help Lycaena escape
to her native Crete (THE CRETAN WEDDING DANCE).

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They bind Catastrophe and Mnemosyne in yards of fabric
and Aesop has them shipped off to the island of Lesbos.
They then run for their lives to the harbor.

Aesop sends Lycaena off on a ship which he thinks
is bound for Crete but is actually a slave ship headed for Lydia.
Philocalus ceremoniously arrives to demand a tax for Croesus and,
more importantly, to get Aesop to help him solve the elaborate second conundrum.

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In order to avoid the impending tax and war,
Aesop offers to go back of Lydia with Philocalus
to plead their cause with the King.
Xanthus frees him so he can accomplish the task
and bring Lycaena home (STAND UP AND BE COUNTED).

Lycaena arrives at the palace with a troupe of dancing slave girls,
The Fury Sisters, but fails to impress Croesus
with her footwork (DANCE OF THE FURIES).

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She is sent to the slave quarters to wait on Delphinia.

Philocalus returns with Aesop, and Croesus is furious that the
unimpressive looking fabulist has caused him such trouble
and threatens him with death. But Aesop wins him over
with the fable of the lion and the mouse (SUCH SWEET HARMONY).

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And when Aesop also solves the conundrum,
Croesus promotes him to a position of power
and reunites him with Lycaena.
But Croesus still refuses to make peace with Samos.

Aesop is determined to send Lycaena back to Samos to warn Xanthus
of the impending war. When she sees Philocalus,
she is reluctant to help until Philocalus impetuously
kisses her and she realizes that he is not the man of her dreams after all.

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Feeling threatened by the rise in Aesop’s fortunes,
Delphina hatches a plot against him
to fake charges that he is secretly in league
with Nectanabo, absconding with the third and final conundrum
in the process, planning to solve it herself.
Aesop simultaneously arranges to send Lycaena
back to Samos to warn Xanthus (SONG OF THE ASSYRIAN SOMNAMBULIST)
and plots a way to steal the third conundrum from Delphinia.

Lycaena returns to Samos with the news of war
and then heads back to help Aesop while Xanthus
ponders the mysteries of love (IT DOESN’T ALWAYS LOOK LIKE IT’S LOVE).

Back in Lydia, Aesop goes to Delphinia’s chamber
to retrieve the scroll containing the final conundrum.
While she tries to extract the solution from him with her feminine wiles,
he pretends to go along with her, sidetracking her with her memories of
her previous life as an actress and her abandoned dreams of stardom (LEGS).

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But her plot to prove him a traitor succeeds and a furious Croesus
imprisons Aesop to await execution at dawn.

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Lycaena disguises herself as a soldier and
frees Aesop from his dungeon. Determined to clear his name,
he confronts Croesus disguised as Nectanabo,
demanding the answer to the third and final conundrum.

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Croesus, unable to solve the riddle and ruing his decision
to execute Aesop, goes to his treasury to mournfully bid
goodbye to his wealth. The real Nectanabo arrives
demanding the answer or full payment when Aesop,
still in his Egyptian disguise returns to the treasury.

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As the two Nectanabos come face to face, Xanthus,
also disguised as Nectanabo,
arrives unexpectedly from Samos to help Aesop.
Aesop takes advantage of his sudden appearance
to solve the riddle and an irate and
defeated Nectanabo is sent packing.

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Catastrophe suddenly arrives to take Xanthus home,
and Croesus decides to send Aesop and Lycaena
back to Samos as his ambassadors with a message of peace.

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Lycaena is finally able to recognize her love for Aesop
(JUST THE BEGINNING)
and the show ends with their wedding (FINALE).

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