Friday, March 26, 2010

Theatre review:"Alice" from the University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre. 28th March 2010

Alice is the name of a lively entertainment in a world-premiere from the University of Pittsburgh’s Repertory Theatre. Writers Emilia Anderson and Tamara Goldbogen have taken Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and, with a talented student cast, turned it into loopy hour and a half of visual and sonic imagination. Credit directors Goldbogen and Sam Turich for making it a fantastic non-stop free-for- all, spinning off the nonsense dimensions of Carroll’s story. Look for, listen for ,all kinds of circus-like whoopee. It even has a ring. Clowns. Simple puppets. Wacky costumes. Pratfalls. Slap and stomp dancing. Acrobatics. Constant, colorful musical decorations.

The script, positing Alice as a would-be tightrope walker, flies over Carroll’s nuggets of wisdom and zippy aphorisms, instead lightly following Alice’s trip while making the most of indelible characters such as the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and the Mad Hatter. Meanwhile band leader Buddy Nutt and various members of the cast takes turns playing many standard instruments plus such off-beat items as a a tuba, tuned glasses, musical saws, a sitar, and a didgeridoo-like device.

All of the cast members romp through their hectic paces with physical agility, many showing special style, such as Ryan Daniel Very as the way-out Mad Hatter and Jeremy Enz-Doerschner who shows he knows how to be a red-nosed clown Plus Ruffin Mansfield Prentiss III and Martel Manning as the Mouse and the Rabbit infectiously prance a dance. They can’t be beat with their syncopated feet.

Suitable for kids. Suitable for adults. Bleacher seating. Tickets at the door.

Alice. Through next Saturday, April 3rd at University of Pittsburgh’s Studio Theater in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning, Oakland. Tickets: 412-624-PLAY (7529) Info:

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