Friday, April 20, 2012

Review of The ComedySportz Crew Meets Alice in Wonderland

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The ComedySportz Crew Meets Alice in Wonderland. It is about a boy (Jamie Campbell) and a girl (Annie Rijks) who go to different fairy tales and then they show the audience how that went. They face Expensivo (C.J. Tuor), a villain, and they face danger in the story and bad things that happen in the story. It is technology vs. imagination in this show. The boy and the girl are on the imagination side--the "good" side. And Expensivo is on the the technology side--the so-called "bad" side. The problem is that technology is made up with imagination and if you use technology some of the time you are using your imagination too. This is an false dichotomy. I learned the word dichotomy from my amazing mom. Dichotomy means it is this side or it's this other side; it is bad or it is good. But this is a false dichotomy because technology uses imagination.

I really liked the Queen of Hearts (Alison Black) because she had spunk. I liked that person a lot because she seemed like she knew what she was doing and she was having a lot of fun working on this project. I liked the part when she said, "This croquet match is going to be so much fun because I will have a trial to look forward to" because people usually aren't excited about trials, but she is because she gets to meet her enemy.

I thought the audience participation was cool. I liked the audience participation because it was fun for kids and can be even fun for grownups. They invited me up as a witness and I was a Narwhal, which is an endangered species of sea mammal that has a very odd horn. I thought it was a good idea to have that participation because it made the audience feel like they had done something cool and they had gotten to be a witness or on the jury or a guest in the tea party. I thought the people in the trial scene did a good job handling the kids. The Mad Hatter (Brian Finlay) and the March Hare (Travis Barnhart) also did a good job handling the kids when they had the tea party and they were like "change seats! change seats!" When I was there, there was a little girl who played a duck, and the only thing she ever said was "quack quack quack," and it was so adorable.

In the croquet scene, they were using hedgehogs as croquet balls. The hedgehogs were like rolling technology, remote-control cars with fur and a nose and eyes. I liked the hedgehogs because they were more creative than just using regular balls or stuffed animals. And I also thought the Caterpillar's (Tahnee Lacey) costume was creative. It was great because she had like a caterpillar's tail wrapped around her and antennae. I thought it was cool that they put the Caterpillar scene and the mushroom out in the audience.

Expensivo was a pretty bad idea just because it is hard to make a bad guy seem not cheesy in a show that is for kids. Little kids like cheesy things, like the Care Bears and Dora the Explorer. But older kids think those are bad and cheesy things, unless they are done by The House Theatre. I used to think Dora the Explorer was amazing, but now I think it is garbage. I would like to have seen Expensivo actually trying to hurt somebody in a physical way--then this show would have been much better. Then this show would have been scary and intense and awesome.

I was hoping to see something that was kind to the book, generous to the author, and didn't make fun of the book. Then when I walked out of the theater, I wasn't saying, "I know lots of things about Alice in Wonderland now and I understand it lots better." I was saying, "I knew that before." The thing that they did well was that they didn't say, let's add in all these things that are not at all in the book.

People who would like this show are people who like audience participation and hedgehogs. I think that the ages that would enjoy this the most are younger kids because it has things that littler kids would be more interested in--like villains trying to destroy fairy tales.

Photos: John Olson

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