The scenery alone can make a trip to experience a Serenbe Playhouse production worth the ticket, and the location for Alice in Wonderland – a most curious dream doesn’t disappoint. With its humorous moments, a charming Alice and rustic set, this production opens the theater’s 2012 season in fine fashion.
Rachel Teagle’s adaptation uses the familiar story and characters that Alice encounters after she goes into the rabbit hole, but there are a few twists. A play-within-a-play, the story begins with the entrance of a traveling group of players. Once the troupe discovers they are missing their main character, a new Alice wanders along the path, and her mystical journey into Wonderland begins.
The dialogue contains Teagle’s trademark whit, and it also includes some inventive elements that transport this adaptation into something fresh and entertaining. A few of the moments that are sure to entertain children of all ages are the caterpillar’s poetry slam and the portrayal of the Queen of Hearts as a Diva.
Staged in a clearing in the woods, the production’s natural setting induces an almost dream-like state itself. Add bubbles blowing along the trail, cast members greeting the audience as they arrive, and the ethereal music playing in the background, watching the play becomes a journey into another world itself. Under the direction of Brian Clowdus, the cast makes perfect use of this natural setting.
The young Skylar Nicholson (Alice) carries the show with the grace of an accomplished adult actress. Delightful in the role, she steals the show with her youthful innocence and talent. The cast also includes Cody Brown, Ralph Del Rosario, Even Goetz, Stephanie Zandra Peyton, Laura Sack and Molly Schoolmeester.
While an outside performance runs the risk of being drowned out by other noises, the actors project well, allowing most of the dialogue to be heard. The cast accomplishes the task of playing to audience of mostly children well and keeps the young audience engaged in the show. Even an occasional airplane flying over doesn’t interrupt.
The world premiere production of Alice in Wonderland – a most curious dream plays at Serenbe Playhouse’s Forest Glen Stage through July 28. For tickets and more information, visit the theater’s website. The show’s running time is approximately one hour. Seating is festival style and audience members are invited to bring their own chairs or blankets.
– Kenny Norton