Highly Recommended *****I recall the first time that I viewed the special adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” by David Catlin at Lookingglass Theatre. It was an amazing theatrical experience that I have been able to see many times and share with younger family members. The last time was five years ago and while the show has had several incarnations and some new players along the way, I still find myself having a new experience each time I sit at this presentation. The show is produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium company, which is very fitting as this is indeed “Alice through The Looking Glass”, the marvelous tale written by Lewis Carroll as a sort of “circus” performance. gymnastics, comic moments, and of course the magic of the story itself as our heroine goes down the rabbit hole in search of her own search for discovery.
“Lookingglass Alice” begins very simply with the audience, seated on two sides of the theater, not knowing what the other side is viewing, but knowing that there are two sides to every story. Some have Alice ( this role is played by two performers, depepnding on which performance one attends, the original Lauren Hirte and the second player, Lindsey Noel Whiting (we were witness to her breathtaking performance, which I must say is just a solid as all the previous productions I have seen). On the other side of the Lookingglass, is Mr. Dotson ( played to perfection by Samuel Taylor, who is also the White Knight later on in the show and of course returns as the author later).
Along the way, Alice meets all the regulars who are played to perfection by an ensemble of some of the hardest working actors/gymnasts one would ever expect to see on a stage: the amazingly agile Molly Brennan who makes the Red Queen truly someone to fear and hate, Anthony Fleming III (who continues to amaze with his athletic abilities as well as his comic timing and the adorable Kevin Douglas, who even does a great scene as Humpty Dumpty (adds a bit of change to the story). These ensemble members play a myriad of characters and during the 90 minutes (n intermission) it is hard to believe that they have time to do all the changes of costumes and personalities they do, BUT, they make every cue and keep the attention of every child in the audience, young and old!.
Once again the brilliant show has been directed by the adapter David Catlin and although it bears a resemblance to the original, there are some slight changes here and there, My grandkids were a bit tied up last week-end, so I invited my Great Niece, Julia Wise to join us. She knows the story of Alice and has seen the animated version several times. Seeing this is a live, and intimate space such as The Lookingglass brings all the action right on and when Alice plays her chess game so that she can become the White Queen, the closeness of the shows falling among other things may have startled Julia in the beginning, but after awhile, she became very into what she was seeing and in particular adored the tea party scene with the Mad hatter (another brilliant character by Douglas). Julia was very happy that she was the one who joined us instead of her big sister. Being a second grader, she is perfect for this play.
From the very start to the very end, you will find yourself and your loved ones enthralled with what they are watching and as we did, on the ride home, you will be talking about what you saw; the artistry, the chemistry, the mystery, the comedy and the delightful music and circus type of performance. This is a special treat and the holidays a perfect time to get away from the reality of every day problems to escape down the “rabbit hole” with Alice, for ninety special minutes.
This production is as flawless as each of the previous ones I have been witness to and I will say this to anyone who has yet to see it- do not put it off! This is an experience that is perfect for the holidays and can be viewed through February 15th.
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. (11/25, 12/23 and 12/30 only)
Wednesdays 1 p.m. on 12/24
3 p.m. 11/26 and 12/31
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (there are some 3 p.m. shows as well)
Fridays 7:30 p.m.
3 p.m. on 11/28, 12/26 and 1/2)
Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
7:30 p.m. (starting 12/7 thru 12/14.12/21,1/11,1/25,2/8 and 2/15)
Tickets run $45-$85 BUT there are some student tix available day of show (subject to availability) at $20 with valid ID
Tickets can be purchased at the box office located at 821 N. Michigan Avenue, by phone at 312-337-0665 and online at www.lookingglasstheatre.org
Discount parking is available (bring your ticket to the theater for validation) at several lots which you will find on the theater website.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “lookingglass Alice”