In the current production of “Alice” in the Lyceum Theater, left is not only right, but forwards, backwards, up, and down. Subsequent to a seemingly ordinary beginning, you will find yourself unable to even form an adequate question.
That is the true beauty of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. Its utter nonsense is one of the things that makes it so memorable.
After a moment of comparatively odd normalcy, Alice chases a rushed white rabbit down a deep, dark hole and finds herself in Wonderland.
All sanity seems to fade away during this fall, leaving little Alice quite mad herself.
After many varied adventures, including drinking a potion that makes her larger than a house, playing croquet with flamingos as sticks and hedgehogs as balls, and helping a strange white knight onto his invisible steed, she wakes up where she began, sitting beside her sister on the river bank. Immediately she begins to tell her sister of the strange dream as the scene slowly fades into the ending song.
This musical take on Alice’s story was a delight to watch. The cast was energetic and animated, making each performance exceedingly entertaining as the last.
The only grievance was the song “Down Down Down” near the beginning of the musical as Alice is falling–for a lack of better description–down down down the hole after the white rabbit. The performance lacked energy and was unnecessarily long. Ideally, it could have been shortened without compromising the plot or character development. The rest of the numbers, though, were enjoyable to say the least. Many songs satirized types of tunes that might be found in a Broadway musical. The number “Bill’s Lament,” for example, satirized the barbershop quartet, making Bill’s story overly dramatic.
The best number, “Eating Mushrooms,” came right before the intermission. The lively music and the professional choreography by Stephanie Parker (who also choreographed several of the other numbers) created something marvelously captivating to watch. It was no mystery that the audience came back for the second half.
Each actor gave a shining performance. As mentioned before, the cast was lively, and the positive chemistry between cast members was apparent. Senior Karah Macie Gravatt was especially enchanting as Alice. Gravatt’s portrayal believably captured Alice’s childlike buoyancy and eccentricity.
Other characters that caught attention were the Red Queen, played by Reeni Lindblom, the White Queen, played by Kelsi Roberts, and the White Knight, played by Lucas Moore.
Lindblom’s viciousness actions paired with her sweet attitude was quite a sight, and entertaining to say the least. In contrast, Roberts portrayed everything that royalty should be–and so much more. Roberts’ sweet-as-honey personality as the White Queen would be hypothetically enough to terrify a dentist and was equally entertaining to watch.
Most memorable was Moore’s amusing attempt to mount his invisible (and limo-sized) steed with the help of Alice, ending in the inevitable misplacement of that which cannot be seen.
There were several memorable scenes–I can hardly write them all down in one review.
Most astounding was the aesthetics involved in Alice’s conversation with the smoking caterpillar. The number was creatively carried out with a colorfully clothed Dustin Laemmlen sitting on the top of a spiral staircase; the rest of the cast cascading down the stairs, wearing colorful gloves to bring the body of the caterpillar to life.
If you haven’t yet seen it, I urge you to see Alice, playing one more weekend in the Lyceum.
It definitely beats re-watching episodes of The Office, wishing you had something to do. Showtimes are Friday, October 1st at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.