REVIEW: WONDERLAND

ALICE’S ROCK & ROLL ADVENTURE

at the Aurora Fox

by Edwin Lobach

I was originally going to avoid saying anything about covid and how covid made it so I couldn’t see my shows, but honestly, I guess I didn’t really remember just how much I cherish live theatre. I did not cry, but my emotions were mimicking Alice as she grew and shrank in size. Alright, maybe I teared up during the last two numbers.

First surprise of the night: every actor played a live instrument. Guitars, bass, violin, cello, piano, drums. All of it was incorporated into the choreography which kept me holding my breath at times because there was a lot of movement. I found it a bold move for the direction of the musical, having the cast members playing live. And to be honest, when they first came out with all the instruments I wondered if it was going to be cheesy, but it was so not cheesy. It was one hell of a rock and roll musical.

There was also something simple yet so captivating the way Alice (Darrow Klein) fell down the rabbit hole without really having a hole on stage to fall through, or how the scene changed perspective when Alice was trying to get through the tiny door. The choreography (Terrell Davis), the lighting (Brett Maughan) and the sounds (Curt Behm) simulated a perfect fall through the rabbit hole. Additionally, this amalgamation put you in poor, scared Alice’s shoes during the creepy Jabberwocky scenes. Like, it was kinda scary, but really well executed.

So, I couldn’t tell who I was more in love with, Darrow Klein as Alice, or Elton Tanega as Cheshire Cat. I did at one point maybe telepathically propose to Klein, but alas, I never got a response. Tanega was always wearing the most beautiful smile and just made for an endearing character. The one who blew everyone out of the theatre, however, was Anna High. She played as the Queen of Hearts, as well as other parts, and wore the most stunning rose shaped dress which gives my applause to costume designer Nicole Harrison.

It may have been a tried story but I found myself wondering every moment, But what’s gonna happen next? So fresh it was in the revision of Alice that it felt renewed, newly born. The production was like going to a rock concert half a century ago, but like, the artists are seasoned actors. Sure I know plenty of actor friends who can strum the guitar or play the keys but seeing it pulled together on stage is worth the visit by itself. What an experience.

If you’d like a trip down the rabbit hole with Alice you can find information at AuroraFox.org, or call (303)739-1970.

Catch it before its gone on July 3rd!

 

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