BWW Review: WONDERLAND: ALICE'S ROCK & ROLL ADVENTURE at Childsplay
Childsplay kicks off their summer with the rockin' Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure, a reinvented production of the treasured stories by Lewis Carroll, written by Rachel Rockwell with a score by Michael Mahler.
Wonderland is an extraordinary piece of family-friendly theatre suitable for all ages to enjoy. Although older viewers may be familiar with the story, there is an innovative newness to this musical piece that sets it apart from its predecessors--including exceptional costume and wig design by Connie Fur Soloman and Kate Mammana, and fantastic lighting displays by Jeff A. Davis.
The cast is full of treasures, including Michelle Chin leading as 7 ½ year old Alice, who is consumed by boredom and longing for change in her mundane life. Chin is energetic and perfectly embodies the young spirit of Alice. Tommy Strawser, who plays the Caterpillar, is emotionally volatile and hilarious in all the right ways. Cullen Law portrays The Cheshire Cat, whose teeth is painted on the back of a violin Law rocks throughout the show, and serves as a helpful guide to Alice in her journey. The famous tea party scene features Katie McFadzen as the Mad Hatter, Lauren McKay as the March Hare, and Marshall Vosler as the Doormouse, who all completely embody their characters. Additionally, Lauren McKay also plays the Red Queen, dominating her Childsplay debut with powerful force.
The various actors play instruments on stage in real time, with the drummer/percussionist Danielle Moreau visible throughout the show, adding for a real "rock band concert" feel of the piece. Although rock music, the innocent elements of the show remain from the books, and is never consumed by some of the more "adult" messages from the original Carroll piece.
Wonderland is a fantastic hit, with a talented cast of performers and numerous aesthetically pleasing elements that will keep even the rowdiest of children engaged.
Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure at Childsplay runs through May 21st, 2017 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased at www.childsplayaz.org or at the Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (480) 350-2822 (ext. 0).