Other Voices Theatre Presents 18th Annual Production of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND This Weekend
Local theater group, Other Voices, is in the midst of rehearsals for their annual springtime production of The New Adventures of Alice in Wonderland at The Weinberg Center for the Arts. The cast is a mix of Frederick acting icons, like Julie Herber and Joann Lee (hailing from The MET) reprising their respective Red and White Queen roles. Jeremy Trammelle (Mad Hatter), Shawn Nakia (White Rabbit), and Amanda Patten (The Duchess) are also joining the cast. Other Voices is excited to introduce Miss Charley Bennett in the featured role of Alice.
Susan Thornton has been involved with the production for the past 18 years, managing two jobs, Director and featured as the Cheshire Cat. Alice is a highlight of the Other Voices theater season, and Thornton finds it to be an incredible learning experience for all involved. Says Thornton, "This show gets so much energy from the 40+ member cast, it has become such a tradition for Frederick."
Thornton enjoys meshing the professional actors with the amateurs. She says, "We have 6 featured actors and talented ensembles to back them up in high energy dance scenes. The cast gets to see how seasoned professionals like Herber and Lee can transform themselves into the Queens, hit their marks, know their lines and at the same time enjoy each other and the moments of a live community theater production."
It's a challenging production for all involved because every year Thornton, and Choreographer Donna Grim, change up the characters and scenes to keep the show fresh for their dedicated fans. Fortunately Lewis Carroll gave them plenty of scenes to draw upon. This production truly brings forth the sentiment quoted from Carroll's writings in the show, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." It continues to up the ante each year.
The production showcases virtually every style of dance in thrilling sequences that are reminiscent of Broadway. This year Thornton and Grim are excited to have Lizard Walker-Keegan joining the show as the Butterfly. Grim says "Lizard is an amazing aerialist, with her incredible ability and the magic of Wonderland, the audience will get an excellent opportunity to see a very challenging dance form in the Weinberg."
Thornton and Grim have nothing but praise for their cast. "It's challenging to sing, dance and act, especially when you fold amateurs into the mix", says Grim. "But we're fortunate to have Joann, Julie, Jeremy, Shawn and Amanda, who have unending patience and professionalism. The kids in the cast challenge them as well- there's a lot of energy to keep up with".
Directed by Susan Thornton and choreographed by Donna Grim, The New Adventures of Alice in Wonderland comes to the Weinberg Center tonight, April 18th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 19th at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. The Friday April 18th 7:30 pm performance will be an American Sign Language interpreted performance, partially enabled by a grant from the Frederick Arts Council. Tickets are $10 for children under 6, $15 for students and seniors, and $20 for adults and are available at the Weinberg Box Office, by calling 301-600-2828, or online at http://www.weinbergcenter.org/5757/the-new-adventures-of-alice-in-wonderland-3/.