“Alice in Wonderland” is a whimsical children’s story about a young girl who falls into a rabbit hole and finds herself in a world with many peculiar characters. The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis was the perfect venue for this show which I was anxiously waiting to see. The woman sitting next to me smelled like my kindergarten teacher. The best way to describe it is fresh soap and whenever I smell that aroma, it transports me back to my younger years (that makes me sound so old!) which is exactly what “Alice in Wonderland” should do. The play opened and closed with most of the cast singing a familiar “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”. Intermission was cleverly crafted with a tune as well.
Anna Evans as Alice did a lovely job playing the sweet, innocent girl in her blue dress and blonde hair. Reed Sigmund played the Caterpillar, March Hare and White Knight. He was very versatile with each part and had distinct accents separating each role. My favorite role was the Caterpillar. Other actors who played “legs” trailed behind him wearing different colored “crocs”. It was cute. I’m a huge fan of Dean Holt and always enjoy seeing him on stage. When he sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat” as the Mad Hatter, it cracked me up. Another thing I appreciated is when he was one of the “legs” of the caterpillar he scaled back and didn’t have the focus on him. However, when it was his time to shine for his big roles, all eyes were on him. Autumn Ness (Queen of Hearts) was perfect. Her red roses dress shaped like a table top, crazy wig and mini crown were splendid. Her evil ways were exactly the way I pictured the Queen should act.
The cast all wore black and white striped leggings as a base and then layered different colorful costumes on top of them. Everyone also had white painted faces with pink cheeks. I loved the unity that it created. Tweedledee and Tweedledum wore yellow and purple parachute costumes. I’d never seen anything like it and thought it was absolutely adorable. In fact, all of the costumes designed by G.W. Mercier were wonderful. A special recognition goes out to Victor Zupanc who was the composer, sound designer and foley artist. He was an incredible one man band and I cannot imagine the show without him. The set was also very well crafted and the use of trap doors was superb. It really riled the kids up and made them giggle and question what was going on.
The last line of the show Alice sang “life is but a dream”. I thought it was adorable and a perfect ending to the story. “Alice in Wonderland” is playing now through June 15th so you have plenty of time to go see it. Learn more here: http://www.childrenstheatre.org/