Logan Fringe Arts Space: Upstairs

Remaining performances (tickets available here):

Thursday, July 16 at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at 4:45 p.m.

They Say: A vibrant, steampunk reworking of a much-loved classic that puts us in Alice’s head where she is in a race against the clock to conquer her anxiety and take control of her thoughts before leaving childhood behind.

Colleen’s Take: If you’re going to Alice, you’re probably familiar with Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story. To recap, a young girl falls down a rabbit hole and aimlessly tries to find her way back home. Along the way, a White Rabbit tells her she’s late with little more detail, a Caterpillar blows smoke in her face, a Mad Hatter and his friends get her drunk off of tea, a cat taunts her, and two queens—one red, one white—add to her frenzy.

In Dodgeball Theatre’s rendition, directed by Haley Murphy, Alice’s Wonderland gets a 19th-century industrial steampunk twist. The play is set on a clock. Two metal tables sit in the middle of the circular stage, and are manually swiveled throughout in a constant reminder that young Alice (Lilly Kerrigan) is in a battle with time. Dim lights and a cacophony of music add to the anxious mood.

The six-person cast changes characters with the use of props. Watch out for the transformation of the White Rabbit (Sarah Cuzenza) who swaps ears for massive Aviator sunglasses and what looks like a vape pen, and returns to the stage as the Caterpillar. Alice remains unchanged in appearance from start to finish. She wears a white dress with no heavy eye-liner, no corset, and no stovepipe hat in sight. Her naïvety and innocence are in stark juxtaposition to the whimsical and sometimes dark world she’s stumbled upon.

Yes, there are a few dance sequences in Alice, with the most notable occurring during the infamous Tea Party scene. It’s steeped in robotic movements and panicked tea pourings that leave the Dormouse (Amanda Quain) drunkest of them all.

Intermittently throughout the play, characters break to recite from Carroll’s book and narrate Alice’s emotions. It’s a clever a nod to the classic.

See it if: You’ve always wondered why a raven is like a writing desk.

Skip it if: You never really cared.

Image courtesy of Dodgeball Theatre