“Alice?” Play Review

Alice? is a witty comedy with a deeper underlying meaning: Who are you? In this modern adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice, the main character, played by Joelle Junio, suffers from self-identity issues, and tries to her true self.

The show opens up with her Momma sitting on the couch watching TV, and stumbles across a religious show, which talks about women’s wrong doings. Momma takes this very personally and feels like it is blaming women, she talks to Alice about the importance of women. Alice, to distract from the conversation, shows her mother a card trick. Coincidentally, her mother pulls the queen of hearts. Momma then goes on to say how the woman on the card are depicted as angry and one sided. Suddenly, a rabbit, played by Zach Myers, appears in the living room with the two characters. The rabbit is obviously a show off, for when he came out on stage, he does a standing back tuck. He then proceeds to stand there and stare at the crowd and wait for them to clap, if it takes too long he starts to clap for himself till the audience gets the hint. The rabbit, like in the original story, is in a rush and goes through a hole behind their couch and disappears. Momma and Alice, like any ordinary person is taken aback and very confused by what just happened in their living room. Alice questions whether she should follow, and Momma suggests that she should follow if she need too. During this scene, I overheard a women behind me mention how that was bad parenting.

When in Wonderland Alice meets the typical characters: the Rabbit, Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, Mad Hatter, Door Mouse, and the King and Queen of Hearts. The Caterpillar, portrayed by Cole Flottman, is your typical school hippy. The Caterpillar pushes the boundaries of school appropriateness, when he comes out with full smoke and hookah, which adds to the humor of the play and character. He questions why people must label themselves and keeps coming back to the question of the whole play; “who are you?” Though the character seems one dimensional, he adds to Alice’s growing uncertainty, and ultimately, her self-realization. Cole’s portrayal of the Caterpillar adds to the dawning realization that Wonderland is simply a place of self-discovery, much like high school can be.

The Cheshire Cat played by Taylor Kirby is made out to be your typical rebel; the cat slinks on to the tree branch with feline elegance, wearing all black, and a leather jacket. Of course you cannot forget the iconic Cheshire Cat smile, which was perfect. Cheshire Cat talks about how everyone is mad, and being mad is made in terms of percentages. If you convince enough people it’s normal, then it’s normal. She talk about breaking the norm, which is why she is portrayed as a rebel.

Next, Alice meets Mock Turtle, played by Zach Burks, Mad Hatter (Alia Stepney), and DorMouse (Isabel Fagre) at a tea party. Mock Turtle is very emotionally unstable and is constantly crying on stage, while Mad Hatter is controlling, aggressive, and is always yelling at Mock Turtle while DorMouse is sleeping. When the mouse wakes, she speaks with refined intelligence.

The Queen of Hearts (Rachel Godbey) enters followed by the King (Mikah Mathews) and the Knave of Hearts (Damon Sprouse). The Queen is a typical popular girl; she is the queen bee and if she doesn’t get what she wants, it’s “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD.” The King of Hearts was the Queen’s “boyfriend”, but more like her follower. At one point, the Queen got upset with the Cheshire Cat and wanted her head cut off, and in turn, the Queen goes on and bosses the King to get the Executioner. The Knave of Hearts was the Queens servant; he was her real follower, portrayed as a nerd. Now the Executioner, he wasn’t much of an executioner. At one point, the Queen told him to cut the Knave of Hearts’ head off, and it is discovered that the Executioner just lets them go.

At the end of the play, Alice comes out on stage and says that no one knows who they truly are except for themselves, but even Alice didn’t know who she was until she went to Wonderland. Alice finally knew who she was when she went through the rabbit hole, and she states that it is necessary to go through every hole, but not all holes you need to go through. Have you figured out who you are? Are you a hippy, a rebel, or a bully? Or are you just you?IMG_0384 IMG_0538