Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review of Upended Productions' Alice.

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Alice. It was created and curated by Noelle Krimm. This doesn't just take place in a normal theater; it takes place all over Andersonville. I really really had a lot of fun at this show. I felt like I was about to go on an amusement park ride when I was waiting for it to start. You didn't know at all what was going to happen next. You didn't know what was going to be around the corner or anything. You could see a crazy card man or you could see a little bunny bucket with candy in it. I think this was a great way to do Alice in Wonderland because usually you are just watching people on an adventure, but in this case you are actually being the Alice on the adventure. I loved this show so much! It may make your feet tired, but it is totally worth it!

I will be talking about a bunch of different things, but I won't give everything away. I'll just be doing little snippets about each chapter. I thought that the Hostess Bunny (Dina Marie Walters) was a great character to follow. Not everybody will get to follow her, but I'm positive that all the others are also very good. I thought the Hostess Bunny was great because she was very hilarious because her best friend was a housework and cooking book! I felt a little bit that I could die at any moment around her because there were graffiti and signs around that said, "Don't Trust the Bunny" and "Don't Follow the Bunny" and she would cover up the signs and be like, "Don't look!" She seemed very innocent and very nice but sometimes in movies and stuff like that the nicest people are the most cruel.

The Dodos were a bunch of birds who liked to squirt water in their faces when they weren't working. They squirted water in their faces because they didn't want to go extinct. It reminded me of the pool of tears that Alice gets washed into. They kept saying "yes" and "no" or "do" and "don't," but the funny thing was even when they said "don't" they would still spray water in their faces. And then we had to run around and answer questions and I thought that was pretty fun!

The Bills (Greg Allen, Brittany Anderson, Taylor Bailey, Niki Dee, and Christopher Lewis) come around sometimes and do card tricks for you or give you notes that help you along your way. If you have not read the book or seen the movie (what is wrong with you?), Bill is a lizard who comes and helps the White Rabbit get Alice out of the house when she is giant. I loved the Bills because they were very very very surprising. I think without the Bills it wouldn't have been as fun because it wouldn't have been as thrilling to walk from one location to another without them surprising you or your bunny. And it is fun to see your Bunny's reaction to them.

There was a part where a man who is basically a chapter (David Kodeski), you came to him and he was sitting reading his dream diary. I thought that was really cool because then you are supposed to send him letters about your dreams, but he didn't actually like people telling him about dreams, but he was kind of the bearer of dreams. His dream was how there was a giant dog and he threw a stick and it came back and made him very very mad. The dog is from a chapter in Alice in Wonderland and so is the rest of his dream. I thought the shop (Wooly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities) was very cool because there was a giraffe and a skeleton was right behind me and there were actually people in the shop staring at all of us.

The Caterpillar (Clifton Frei) was in a bar (Simon's) and he considered himself "a small one." So then he talked for a very long time, kind of nonsensically, about being a small one. And he made diagrams out of lollipops which he had been unwrapping and not eating. So the caterpillar was kind of a drunk, and it is sort of appropriate because in the book the caterpillar is smoking something. And that is something people do a lot when they are drunk.

There was a section where you were supposed to sit down and watch a movie (by Logan Kibbens). And there was this grown man just swinging back and forth. And there was a baby, which seemed to be unattended, swinging nearby. In the movie there was no baby that turned into a pig and I think the baby was supposed to be swinging behind us being not taken care of. I thought the movie was very strange, in a good way. Sometimes when they do these kind of insanely strange stories they don't make them strange enough. I liked how it seemed to be out in the desert in the middle of nowhere and the cat (Maesa Pullman) was out there playing an accordion and just kept smiling.

There was a tea party which took place someplace--well I won't give it away--but took place somewhere a tea party wouldn't take place. I loved the surprise of that. Because you look where they are and then you are like "What the…?" and I looked away for a second and looked back and they were still there. Then you start having a conversation with them. And they start talking about bad boyfriends and stuff and I thought that was really cool. And they all did this one breath and the one breath was all together and then they did a few dance moves and they all lay down. They all lay down because they couldn't take it anymore and it reminded me of the dormouse falling asleep at the end of the tea party.

Then you walk into this room where they tell everyone to go in and visit the queen. And so you do. And by the time I was first in line I was hyperventilating like a puppy because I know the story of Alice in Wonderland and I know that the queen is not supposed to be a nice guy. Then you went and teared up paper and stuff like that because they asked you to and you had to do what the queen asked. And the first thing they ask you is, "Do you play croquet?" and I said "Sort of" because I played it once and I know the concept of it.

The next thing is the school under the sea. Striding Lion did this part. I saw them do American Me and Remember the Alamo and I thought those were both amazing. And I thought this was also very cool because it seemed like it was a modern dance school. I liked how they asked some of the people to come up and do the dance moves. They asked my mom and she said it should have been me because I know how to dance. But I think that their point was that no one in the school could learn anything very much because the moves were so hard and they showed it once. Then the teacher got so sad that we had to go comfort her by pretending to be waves. And then they would each sing a song about homework. I thought that was pretty funny how homework songs would cheer her up!

Then we went to visit Chad the Bird (Josh Zagoren) who was at the court. And I thought it was funny because he said: "I was looking for my keys, and nobody helped, and they were all humans just like you. So you are all guilty!" But then I won't give away the ending, because that was too funny! When my friend Clara and I were watching Chad the Bird, we turned around and the card man was standing right there and we just freaked out. When would glance back every few seconds, but then one time when we looked back he was about to look right at us and it was so funny.

Then there is the ending scene by Sophisticated Cornbread (I love that name and it makes me very hungry for some sweet cornbread) where there is the King of Hearts, the Queen of Hearts, and a few executors who just halt you. And then they have you stand under important or unimportant and my whole family stood under important, but then my dad had to go to unimportant even though I thought he was very important. But then something terrifying happens, but I won't tell you what it is. It is not too terrifying for kids, but it was just surprising.

People who would like this show are people who like bunnies, insanity, and lollipops. I think should definitely see this show. It is so funny, and I had so much fun, and I think you should bring all your best friends to it because they will have a lot of fun. It is basically like you get to go on the experience of going to Wonderland with your friend.

Photos: Johnny Knight

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