Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Children's Theatre Company

Now on stage through March 31, 2024.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Children's Theatre Company
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Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Children's Theatre Company

Chaos, mania, and enchantment have gotten loose on the Children’s Theatre Company’s stage and they have joined together to create a fantastical new production of Alice in Wonderland that is sure to be just the thing to chase away the winter chill.

Drawing from the classic Lewis Carroll novel and less from the Walt Disney film, this production brings to life a slew of characters that young audiences (and perhaps some of the older crowd) will be less familiar with. In doing so, it brings a new sense of wonder to the story that keeps the story fresh for those unfamiliar with the source material.

While this production is full of the whimsy that audiences have come to expect from this timeless tale, it is oddly chaotic at times, even for a story about a small girl who wanders into a magical land full of unknown wonders. Sharon Holland has done their best to bring the magic of the book to the stage but it falters in providing a solid through line, tying each scene together.

Instead the audience is treated to a series of maniacal encounters that seem to pop out of nowhere and sadly are forced to leave too soon, almost as if the scene was cut short. As enjoyable as they are individually, they begin to feel more like skits and less like a well Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Children's Theatre Company crafted story that is leading to a solid conclusion. Although it is chaotic, the story provides a heathy dose of magic and laughter.

Brought to life at every juncture is a colorful cast of characters that spring forth in vibrant fashion by a sublime troupe of actors. Namely the iconic, Dean Holt, who does not miss a moment to delight the crowd with his wacky characterizations of the Mad Hatter and Humpty Dumpty.

Standing squarely next to Holt is the hilarious Nathan Keepers who takes the March hare to new heights with his wit and physicality. Keepers and Holt’s mad tea party is simply one of the highlights of the show and it is all a tribute to their craft.

While the cast is all top notch, everyone seems to be attempting to match the top tier talent of Audrey Monica who grounds the audience as the titular Alice. Each move and line is spoken with conviction and emotion that is simply extraordinary to witness. As she moves from each fantastical place, she has the almost impossible task of keeping us fully invested in her journey through the craze that is being portrayed.

Outgoing CTC Artistic Director, Peter C. Brosius, who has had an illustrious 25 year career with the company, has drawn his inspiration for this production from the English Music Hall and Panto traditions. By utilizing this technique, he has created an original way to draw the ensemble into the show by positioning them as street players who are putting on the story of Alice for the local children (and their families).

Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Children's Theatre Company

While the script is a tad chaotic, it can’t be overstated that this production shines and dazzles with heart, color, and magic. In no small part, this is aided by the spectacular set and costume design by G. W. Mercier, who sadly passed away in 2021.

Alice in Wonderland is a wildly chaotic journey but one that is certain to delight and enchant audiences of all ages. So grab your tickets (and don’t be late) for this latest re-telling.