Alice in Wonderland
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

Marin Shakespeare Company let their creativity run wild and put together a live theatre version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. How do you show Alice (Hannah Rose Kornfield) grow and shrink in size on stage? How do you create the illusion of Alice and a cast of wacky characters being tossed around in a stormy sea? Well you’ll just have to come see the show to find out, but I guarantee you’ll be tossed out of your seats with laughter when you watch the mouse (Darren Bridgett) trying to stay afloat. “As we set out to tell this story here, outdoors, in a theatre with limited abilities for cinematic effects… and scenic changes, we found we had to rely on our imaginations and simple, childlike inventiveness to create the magic of Wonderland,” said director Lesley Schisgall Currier. “And somehow that seems most satisfying. This adaptation intends to impart Lewis Carroll’s story in his words in a way that allows the storytelling skills of our outrageously talented cast to shine.”

And shine they did with scene after scene of wonder and laughter. But Currier also focused on “Alice as a coming of age story… This young woman’s quest is to answer the Caterpillar’s query: ‘Who are you?’ and this is a question Alice has trouble with until the very end. Her tasks are to unravel words, to unpuzzle personalities, to navigate changing rules of society, and to find herself within herself. It is a very female journey, learning how one’s perception of things shapes reality.”

This entire cast truly shines but Darren Bridgett as The Mad Hatter, Mouse and Cook; George Maguire as Lory, Caterpillar, March Hare and King of Hearts; Matthew Henerson as Duck, Pat and Duchess: and Emily McGowan as Eaglet, Pigeon, Dormouse, and Knave of Hearts deserve special mention for their maddening creative renditions of their multiple roles. Also there could be no better Alice and White Rabbit then Hannah Rose Kornfield and Jack Powell respectively.

Don’t miss this delightful evening of entertainment for the entire family with music composed by Billie Cox. No need for the Jefferson Airplane in this production, Cox’s wide range of talent takes us from polkas to jazz and will keep you hopping down that rabbit hole of a young girl’s adventures.

For tickets or more information call (415) 499-4488 or visit www.marinshakespeare.org.

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