Well, when thinking of Alice in Wonderland, jazz does not come immediately to mind, but here it is — a jazzy tea party and more! If you or your kids love jazz, this show is definitely for you. Throughout the whole play, a jazz band was on stage. They started with the entertainment even prior to the play starting, whereupon the Mad Hatter went about the audience being “mad” (my kids learned the varied meaning of this word via this event), hilariously harassing various theater-goers.
As the show began, jazz music filled the theater and commanded our attention. At times throughout the show, the music drowned out the singers, which was unfortunate, but for the lower pitched singers with strong projection it was great musical entertainment (the Duchess & Queen, oh my!). My personal favorite character was the caterpillar — that guy fits perfectly with jazz. No hookah in this version of course, but he easily made up for that with his cool, gravelly voice and swagger. Maybe he needs his own spin-off play… The Mad Hatter gave a wonderful character performance as well, perfectly in line with my hopeful expectations.
Alice’s character did an excellent job holding center stage and the audience’s attention throughout many creative scenes. In the croquet scene, when the in the audience were up on their feet — taking in the great costumes and props and listening attentively to creative and jaw-dropping dialogue, including a jazzy rendition of “Off with her head!”. And at the close of the trial when the band is pardoned (whew!) and Alice makes her getaway.
While this was a play geared towards children (recommended for ages 6 and up), with so many inventive costumes and props, it was a joy for me as an adult as well. The music and cast were very entertaining and it’s a pleasure to expose my children to this musical and theatrical art. Now … I’ll just be waiting for the punk rock version.
Alice in Wonderland plays through February 28, 2016 at the Northwest Cultural Center. Click here for more info.
Jennifer and her family were given tickets to attend this performance on behalf of Metro Parent-PDX Kids Calendar for review. She was in no way compensated for her opinions.