News Column

Magic Theatre adaptation of 'Alice' faithful to Carroll

June 27, 2013

YellowBrix

June 27--With many stage adaptations, some directors change a story. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not.

The Magic Theatre's production of "Alice in Wonderland," however, does not change anything about the Lewis Carroll classic.

The production begins Saturday.

"What we're doing here is bringing Lewis Carroll to life," said director John Elliott. "Everything here is straight out of the book. We made very few changes."

One big change audiences might notice is the omission of Tweedledee and Tweedledum. But this is the play being faithful to the novel.

"They're from 'Through the Looking Glass,'" Elliott said. "I cut out four characters. Otherwise, it's the whole book done in less than an hour."

"Alice in Wonderland," to the uninitiated, is the story of Alice (Mackenna Hathaway). One day, she chases after a white rabbit (Andrew Hayes) complaining about being late and falls down a rabbit hole. She finds herself in the strange world of Wonderland.

While there, she encounters a smoking caterpillar (Ted Shadle), a Cheshire Cat (Joanna Jarvis) and a mad tea party put on by a Mad Hatter (Andre LeBouyer), a March Hare (John LeBouyer) and a Dormouse (Grayson Hayes).

"It's similar to the story of Scrooge in that a character goes on a strange journey and meets all kinds of characters, although in this case I don't think Alice learns a thing," Elliott said. "My first role ever as a freshman in high school was playing the March Hare."

What separates this show from other Magic Theatre shows is the size of the cast. "We have 26 parts. It's a huge cast," Elliott said. "It's almost a main stage show being done at the Magic Theatre level. ... I feel like a ringmaster more than anything else."

The cast also includes Lena Bautista as Tiny Alice, Gabrielle Hayes as Tall Alice, Ashley Helton as the Dodo, Gannon Koranda as Lory, Blake Rider as the Eaglet, Hailey Dost as the Duck, Tina Monette as the Queen of Hearts and Christopher Krachie as the King of Hearts.

"Alice in Wonderland" is "a good story and a good time," Elliott said. "It's a lot of fun to do this show. ... If you want to be entertained, come to this show."

CONTACT Josh Kendrix at 749-4775.

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(c)2013 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.)

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