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Pushcart Players to Bring ALICE IN WONDERLAND to Kaplen JCC, 12/7

By: Nov. 19, 2014
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Pushcart Players, New Jersey's Emmy-nominated and award-winning theatre for young audiences brings its newest touring production, "Alice in Wonderland" to the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Tenafly, NJ on Sunday December 7th at 2:00 pm. Cleverly adapted from Lewis Carroll's classic books, this musical is now being scheduled for performances in schools, theaters, production houses and community centers throughout the United States through June 2015.

Complete with vibrant costumes, spectacular scenic elements, playfully designed puppets and whimsical orchestrations by Tony and Drama Desk award-winner Larry Hochman, Pushcart Players' "Alice in Wonderland" is re-imagined and designed by co-founder Ruth Fost and directed by artistic director Paul Whelihan. Filled with pure nonsense and madcap characters, this intriguing tale about a curious and proactive young girl has enchanted readers for many generations.

"'Alice...' is perhaps one of the best-known stories for children," said Whelihan. "People often view it as a 'girl's story' and mostly appropriate for 'little kids.' But it's so much more than that, especially with Pushcart's dynamic spin. Ours is a journey of adolescent discovery. It crosses gender and age lines, and is funny and thought-provoking all at once."

Pushcart has been stirring up serious fun for 40 years. Since 1974, the company has traveled over 2 million miles nationally and abroad to serve more than 8 million children and their families with meaningful theater. From the White House in the nation's capital to the little red schoolhouse in the nation's rural sprawl, Pushcart' Emmy-nominated performances are noted for excellence and innovation. A troupe of professional Equity actors and stage managers perform.

The cast includes Stacey Gogo (Alice), JD Lynch (Mad Hatter, et.al.), James Holden (Cheshire Cat, et.al.), and Lyndsey Graham / Maggie Graham (Red Queen, et.al.). Gogo has performed off-Broadway, in national tours and regionally. She played Penny Pingleton in Westchester Broadway Theatre's "Hairspray," and performed in Surflight Theatre's "Grease" in New Jersey. Lynch is a graduate of DeSales University with a degree in theatre/communications. He has performed in more than 80 different shows Off Broadway and throughout the country.

James Holden recently played Uncle Ernie in West Virginia Public Theatre's production of "The Who's Tommy." In New York, he played the loveable cop Flapjack in both "Doubles Crossed" and the sequel "Doubles Crossed: The Ballad of Rodrigo," both with Funny...Sheesh Productions, and can be seen on television in "Celebrity Ghost Stories, I'd Kill for You," and "Redrum." Lyndsey Brown portrayed Christine in "Phantom." at the Bucks County Playhouse (PA), Lily in "The Secret Garden" and Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" at The Growing Stage (NJ), Beth in "Little Women" and Marsinah in "Kismet" at The Pocono Playhouse. Maggie Graham continues to perform her one-woman cabaret show "Carol Channeling" in venues throughout Manhattan (including Rose's Turn, The Triad and Joe's Pub). Roles in regional theatres throughout the tri-state area include Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeny Todd," Ursula in "The Little Mermaid" and Cinderella in "Into the Woods."

Paul Whelihan has directed and stage-managed and performed off-Broadway (47th Street Theater, 59 East 59 Theatres, NY Fringe Festival) and regionally (Royal Poincianna Playhouse, Broward Center for the Arts, Centenary Stage, The Growing Stage, Luna Stage Company, Forum Cultural Arts Center, Quillo Arts Center, Dreamcatcher Rep) in musicals, dramas, original works and locally produced television, film and web series projects.

Ruth Fost creates the scripts, designs the sets, builds the costumes and inspires the company to dream and discover new frontiers in educational theater. She has done so for all forty years of Pushcart's history. Susie Paplow choreographs "Alice in Wonderland." Paplow has created the dance for the majority of Pushcart's shows, and has performed with the company, as well as in theaters throughout the region.

Larry Hochman won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his co-orchestration of "The Book of Mormon." His orchestrations include Broadway's "Monty Python's Spamalot," "The Addams Family" and "Jane Eyre." Music for "Alice in Wonderland" is by Pushcart co-founder Carole Wechter, a co-founder of Pushcart Players and has been its most prolific composer to date. Wechter sang and played guitar with a folk trio and performed in regional theater before dedicating herself full-time to Pushcart for 16 years as a writer, composer, performer and administrator. Original puppets for "Alice in Wonderland" are created by Terrence P. Burnett.

Pushcart Players provides innovative scenery, complete lighting and sound systems, making performances adaptable to any location. Study guides and other supplemental materials enhance the educational benefits. An illustrated book of "Pushcart's Alice in Wonderland" highlights the production's significant moments and offers further arts related activities.

Tickets for the Sunday, December 7th performance of "Alice in Wonderland" can be purchased by calling 201.408.1493 or at the Kaplen JCC website: www.jcconthepalisades.org. The location is 411 East Clinton Avenue, Tenafly, NJ 07670.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gerry Goodstein



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