BWW Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND - A Family Adventure
ZACH Theatre's production of Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND adapted by Katie Bender and Gabrielle Reisman, produced in partnership with Underbelly, is an interactive adventure for the whole family.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been performed a million different times in a million different ways, the key is to find a new way to present old material to a new audience. This production takes the show to an entirely new level by using the whole ZACH campus as their stage. The performance begins on the Whisenhunt Stage where the audience is split up into four groups as card suits. Each group follows one of the creatures from the Caucus-Race, our group followed the Dodo. Outdoors the audience goes on a search for Alice, the Red Queen and our Wonderland Visa (a pass to save us from the Red Queen). Most of Carroll's characters are portrayed by the talented young cast in ensemble style, each actor playing several roles. The children are invited to learn a dance from Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, receive a pass through Wonderland from the Mad Hatter and March Hare, as well as play croquet with the Queen. The entire cast is wonderful at engaging the children and keeping their rapt attention. The best part of the show is that only about 10 minutes of it is actually sitting in the theatre, this helps immeasurably with little ones who would otherwise squirm for the hour and a half performance. The spring Austin weather is perfect for this mostly outdoor show, but I would strongly advise that adults wear good walking shoes and consider bringing a hat as well as sunglasses.
Kudos to writer/directors Kate Bender and Gabrielle Reisman for a fun take on a classic story. Costumer Mercedes O'Bannion's use of hand crocheted items for each character was utterly brilliant, as a diehard knitter myself, I was especially appreciative of the handiwork. Cast standouts include Madison Weinhoffer, Nicholas Kier, Chase Brewer and Joseph Urick. As a whole ALICE IN WONDERLAND is refreshing and engaging, altogether a great way to introduce young ones to the theatre or to touch the youthful heart in us all.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Katie Bender and Gabrielle Reisman
ZACH Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, Toomey Road, Austin
March 15 thru May 15, at 11:00AM and 2:00PM
TICKETS: $18 - $23, tickets.zachtheatre.org
RUNNING TIME : 1.5 hours with no intermission.