Monday, July 28, 2014

Review of Nothing Without a Company's Alice in Lincoln Park

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Alice. It was directed by Anna Rose Ii-Epstein and adapted by Michael Monteiro Wise from the book by Lewis Carroll. It was about a young woman named Alice (Taylor Dariarow) who had just moved to Chicago and was just getting to know the city. And then all the creatures in Wonderland are people who live in Chicago. I thought that this show was a blast to be at. It was just so engaging and everything worked so well with the setting in a park. You walk around throughout the park and I like how they are not trying to cover up that you are in Chicago; they want you to see this place as Chicago. You actually felt like you were moving through Wonderland in Chicago. Everything about it just made me happy.

I thought that the White Rabbit (Peter Ash) was a great character to have because he was not a rabbit, really, he was more of a, well, boy. And Alice liked that boy even though he was kind of a jerk. He was dating so many girls at the same time that he didn't even remember Alice's name. He called her Mary Ann. I liked how that happens in the book too when he thinks she's his servant. I also really thought it was funny how the white rabbit had a little tiny tiny pink house and then when Alice grew she just stuck her feet and her arms out the window. When she walks over, Alice is a barbie doll, but then when she grows she just sticks her hand and feet out of the little windows.

The Caterpillar (Alexandra Miller) was a big puppet (designed by Jimmy Jagos). She was a very very big puppet and she was made out of almost everyone in the cast. I thought that was a very funny scene because I really liked it when the Caterpillar said "Wait" in this really valley-girl-like tone and she says it when Alice is so far away that she can barely hear and then Alice turns around and has to slosh all the way back. There were other cool puppets too. I really liked when you are walking at the very beginning there are these birds going wai-an! wai-an! And as you are passing they have all these ridiculous birds, like a pink flamingo getting tossed about in a floppity way and a black and white fuzzy eaglet (Rayme Silverberg), a yellow duck (Miller), and an exotic dodo (Harris Cabrera). They also have speaking parts as they do the caucus race. I liked the caucus race because everybody including the audience got to play in the caucus race.

I liked how the Cheshire Cat (Ivori Skye) had her hair (by William James Reinke) in a way that made it look like cat ears. I thought it was cool how the Cheshire Cat made it through the bushes and you could find its head poking through the bushes while the Mock Turtle (Miller) was talking. I liked how they chose to make the Cheshire Cat female, because they never make it female. I liked how she was cheeky, but she's still nice and helps Alice along the way.

The Mad Hatter's tea party was set under a clump of trees and bushes with a highway running in the back. Good thing the highway wasn't noisy. I liked how the Mad Hatter (Derek Rienzi Van Tassel) and March Hare (Justin Vidovic) were in love but kind of drunk. They were drunk in love. They really seemed to like drinking tea--I think there might have been some alcohol in it! I liked their relationship even though they were kind of drunk because I have never seen a performance where they made the Mad Hatter and March Hare in love. I liked how the Mad Hatter was the boss and everything and everyone listened to him; that was really funny. And I liked how the March Hare called him "Hattie." It showed that the March Hare liked to be his loyal subject and even had a loving nickname for him. I liked the Dormouse (Elizabeth MacDonell) because it was such a funny character to see this puppet go to sleep and be woken up and asked to tell stories and stuff like that. And the Dormouse kind of hiccuped sometimes and that was funny.

The Queen of Hearts (Emily Duke) is a hilarious character. I also liked all the expressions that she did to make this character; she wasn't embarrassed to be acting so weird. The King of Hearts (Evan Sierminski) is always supposed to be afraid somewhat of his own wife and I think he did a great job. I liked his reaction to the queen interrupting him when he was too slow or too nice about something. His reaction was he kind of jumped back and his eyes got bigger. It was very funny. And then he went back to being very very calm. I really liked how the cards (Amy Gorelow) were all played by one person. I thought that was really funny, how they kept narrating spy-style for themselves.

I really liked the costumes (designed by Ryan Tang). Like I really liked the Red Queen's outfit. It was very poofy and very silly, but I really liked it. The poofy stuff reminded me of a Queen Elizabeth ruff. I also really liked the fish's (MacDonell) and frog's (Paige Reilly) outfits. I thought that they looked like prom outfits. I thought those two actresses moved very well in those costumes to make them look like a frog and a fish. They didn't really look like a frog and a fish, but they represented a frog and a fish.

People who would like this show are people who like little pink houses, mad love, and cute rabbit boys. People should definitely go and see this show because it is funny, stretches out your legs, and you'll have a blast. When people go and see this show bring a blanket and a water bottle. This is a really fun and funny show and I think everyone should go and see it!

Photos: Jennifer Sampson

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