Alice in Wonderland
by San Diego Junior Theatre

Nicki Elledge and Zoe Katz. Photo by Ken Jacques. I recently ventured down the rabbit hole with Alice (Nicki Elledge) for an amazing ride into wonderland. This unique and wildly imaginative adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic story was directed with such superior skill and charm, it was like a series of surrealist paintings. The production highlights the dreamlike mindscape, the absurdities, and the odd juxtapositions in the story of Alice in Wonderland. There are several scenes, such as the one in which the lovely Alice is swimming in the flood created by her tears, which were absolutely whimsical. It had a genuine feeling of living in a dream, the scene was enhanced with several actors using simmering fabric to create wave like movements. The Duchess (Heidi Clem) gave a hilarious performance, her period headpiece caused some amusing moments, as it was so large that going though the doorway was quite an accomplishment.

Three large frames were part of the set, projectors behind each periodically changed scenery in the frames. During the caterpillar scene, a series of pictures in the frames changed to a caterpillar’s metamorphosis adding an educational dimension, it was beautiful. The Caterpillar (Alexandra Jimenez) did an awesome job, projecting her voice with great confidence. Tweedledee (Catie Marron) and Tweedledum (Jackee Bianchi) were fabulously entertaining. Costumes were really outstanding, with much attention to detail on every cast member .The Mock Turtle dance was adorable (Sophie Vener). Absurdness at its best was the Mad Tea Party. Mad Hatter (Jackie Bianchi) was super with a truly excellent English accent, she really gave a wonderful performance. The lovely Alice was quite confused by the time the Tea Party was over! Amusing interruptions by the White Rabbit (Zoe Katz) including the top of the show announcements were refreshing -- the best. Queen of Hearts (Rhea De Arms) was hysterically funny, using upside down oversized pink flamingos to hit the croquet balls added to the immense silliness of the game. Other delightful scenes was the Cook (Heidi Whitehouse) and the Trial scene, were a splendid gathering of cast members caused quite a sight!

Overall this was a simply marvelous production, capturing the absurd parody of Victorian life amidst the Crazy Queen of Hearts, the Cook, a Croquet game and a Tea Party that was almost surreal at times. Director Michael Anthony and the Production Staff certainly captured this classic fabulously with its surreal scenes making it worth seeing for young and old alike. The Orchestra’s alluringly melodic tunes took the audience up and down this roller coaster ride of a show, as it went in and out of Alice’s adventures. Those of you who haven’t ventured down the rabbit hole lately should take this opportunity to see this uniquely classic show next time it comes around!

Sylvia Bendelstein
J*Company Youth Theatre

- Cast List -

Alice: Nicki Elledge
Portrait Painter: Brentan Schellanbach
Queen Of Hearts: Rhea DeArms
WhiteRabbit/ Chairman: Zoe Katz
CheshireCat /Mock Turtle: Sophie Vener
French Mouse: Gabrielle Espinal
Dodo/ The Knave of Hearts: Chelsey Clair
Duck /Walrus: Madeleine Barker
Lory: Kylena Parks
Eaglet/ Dormouse: Brittany Williams
Catepillar/ March Hare: Alejandra Jimenez
Bongo Slug/ Referee/Court Advisor: Isabelle Hamman
The White Rose /Red Court/Bird: Casey Jaquez
Pansy/ Red / Court /Bird: Maddie Shea Baldwin
Tiger Lily/ Red Court//Bird: Victoria Tecca
Iris/ Red Court/Bird: Guyanna Beddington
Flora Daisy / Red Court/ Bird: Lara Ballon
Dora Daisy/ Red Court /Bird: Maddy Bersin
Frog- Footman: April Kaneaster
Duchess: Heidi Clem
Cook: Heidi Whitehouse
Baby’s Voice: Stephanie Merrill
TweedleDum/ Mad Hatter: Jackee Bianchi
Tweedledee/ Gryphon: Catie Marron
Carpenter/ Lady in Waiting: Sofia Mia Villafon
King of Hearts: Olivia Lindsay
Exexcutioner: Clare Parme

Pansies/ Pots/School Boys/Oysteres/Cards
Alexa Bitsko, Grace Condon, Meghan Cummings, Ayanna Florence , Lauren Green, Isabella Hamman, Miki Holmes, Reagan Kastner, Olivia Lindsay, Hannah Lo, Stephanie Merrill, Lauren Nelson, Kylena Parks, Clare Parme, Anna Strickland, Brittany Williams

Director: Michael Anthony
Choreographer: Michael Anthony
Musical Arrangements: Rob Gironda
Costume Design: Shulamit Nelson
Set Design: David Kievit
Sound Design: Robin Whitehouse
Production Assistant: Cynthia Bloodgood, Louis Vener


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