Musical Alice needs more work | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Musical Alice needs more work 

Alice in Wonderland, A Musical
Zero stars
Company Carolina at The ArtsCenter
Through Feb. 7

Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll, rank as some of the most charming and quotable pieces of 19th-century English literature, and it is easy to see why one might feel compelled to abridge the strange, complex story and set it to music, and why enthusiastic young players would want to put that simplified musical on the stage. The current production, Alice in Wonderland, A Musical, by the UNC student group Company Carolina, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, is done with a lot of spirit, but rather less skill than one would desire, and is more likely to satisfy new theater-goers than anyone who has ever seen a play before.

This is the Prince Street Players version, with book, lyrics and music by Jim Eiler and music by Jeanne Bargy, and it picks out some of the best-known bits of the story (from both Alice and Looking Glass) and strings them together as skits punctuated with song and dance. Carroll's glorious language and effervescent nonsense get short shrift, but still the whole thing would be pleasant enough if it were done with more panache—and far greater vocal skills. Only Tara Lowe, as the Caterpillar and the March Hare, had the vocal power to contend with the overly loud three-piece combo. The players' use of (ill-adjusted) body microphones was not only unnecessary in that small room, but worked against vocal clarity. If you do go, sit behind the band if you desire to catch more than one word in 10.

There are some good moments—the oyster scene is cleverly conceived—and several good costumes. Yet throughout the Knave's trial scene, I kept looking for him—and finally realized he was there—dressed as the Nine of Diamonds. Like the Knave's costume, this production needs quite a bit more work.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Comments

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Thanks for the correction, Dustin. The playbill listed the wrong actor in the role.

by Byron Woods, INDY Theater and Dance Critic on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation