Friday, May 8, 2015

Review of Wonderland, Alice's Rock and Roll Adventure at Chicago Children's Theatre.

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Wonderland, Alice's Rock and Roll Adventure. It was based on Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The book was by Rachel Rockwell and the music was by Michael Mahler; they both wrote the lyrics. It was about Alice (Isabelle Roberts) who is a girl who wants to have something special and amazing happen to her and then when she falls asleep she goes to this magical wonderful land. Then she meets a bunch of rock-star-inspired animals basically who come and teach her lessons about the world. I really enjoyed this show. I thought that it was very fun and funny and clever. The songs were funny and rocking and there were some slow ones too that I still have stuck in my head because they were so cool.

I thought that it was super awesome how they based the characters on a kind of music or a specific rockstar. I thought that that was very cool. I thought the Cheshire Cat (Andrew Mueller) looked a lot like David Bowie. I could tell because he had a very David-Bowie hairstyle and David-Bowie outfit, like basically a leather silver tiger outfit (costumes by Mara Blumenfeld). I loved the way the Cheshire Cat moved. It was kind of like how David Bowie moved in his music videos--kind of like gliding. I also really liked the bunny Elton John, the White Rabbit (Matt Deitchman). I really liked his glasses and his hat and how he would hop around the stage and Alice would try to get a word in but then she couldn't because he had already hopped off stage. Then there were ones I thought could be inspired by different rock stars, but I wasn't positive, so these are just guesses. The Mad Hatter (Matthew Yee) and March Hare (Adam Michaels) seemed to be heavy-metal inspired and mixing that with the normal Mad Hatter costume seemed very steampunk. I also felt like the Queen of Hearts (Molly Callinan) was inspired by Lady Gaga though her outfit was slightly less crazy. Her song was the thing I found most Lady-Gaga inspired. It made you want to get up and dance and I thought her singing was super awesome.

The song "Red, Red Rose" was very catchy and I think it made a very good point that you shouldn't just be something that you are not. Bianca (Regina Leslie) and Felicite (Lillian Castillo) are both white roses who have been dyed red by Four (Jed Feder) and Seven (Yee). And they sing a song about how Alice will never be a red rose but they got to be a red rose. I think it is about not being yourself when you should be. Alice is saying I will not be a red red rose. I am just an Alice and I don't really care. I think this scene combined two different parts of the books: the part where all the flowers come alive and start plucking Alice's "petals" which are not real petals (they are her skirt) and the part where there are white roses painted red in the Queen's garden. I thought that was cool that, by putting together the meanness of the first flowers and the flowers pretending to be what they're not, they made a really awesome scene that showed you how bullies don't want to be like themselves. They want to be something they are not.

I loved the song "Lazy Day." I felt like it was like a cross between Avril Lavigne and Adele. I found that really awesome because it was just really catchy and I actually want to learn how to sing that song. I thought Alice's voice was very pretty. The song is about having nothing happen to you and how you want something great to happen to you and about boredom. Sometimes I have that same kind of feeling of wanting something awesome and cool to happen. And things awesome and cool happen to me a lot, so sometimes when nothing is happening I don't feel amazing. Alice sings it with her cat, Dinah (Mueller). Dinah is really funny and when Alice dreams Dinah becomes the Cheshire Cat which tells you that anything can happen when you are dreaming. I think that is also a good thing to do when you are bored--just let your imagination take over.

People who would like this show are people who like David-Bowie cats, rock and roll music, and red red roses. I thought the show was very enjoyable. I think it makes a lot of good points and I liked the songs a lot.

Photos: Charles Osgood

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