Spring Preview: Wonderland

Let the series continue! Here’s the second article in Luner on Theatre‘s “Spring Preview” series. Next Show? Wonderland. A New Alice. A New Musical.

The producers of the show are advertising it in the following manner: “A new spin on the classic story of Alice and her Looking-Glass world,Wonderland is about a modern-day woman who goes on a life-changing adventure far below the streets of New York City, where a colorful cast of strange but familiar characters help her rediscover what’s really important. Featuring a fresh, contemporary pop score from the creator of Jekyll and HydeWonderlandarrives on Broadway this spring following two sold-out national stage premieres.” (Cited from Playbill.com)

The show, despite being transfered from Tampa, carries big names in the production. Leading it all is Janet Dacal (In the Heights) playing the mother whose name is Alice. She is the mother of of Chloe played by Carly Rose Sonenclar (Les Miserables, Little House on the Prairie). Another big name to the production, Tituss Burgess, has recently stepped away from the production in which he was role of the Caterpillar. Stepping up to bat as the new Caterpillar is E. Clayton Cornelious. (Tituss’ reasons for stepping away are unknown at this time)

Other big names include Darren Ritchie as the White Knight, Jose Llana as El Gato, Karen Mason as the Queen of Hearts, Kate Shindle as the Mad Hatter and Edward Staudenmayer as the White Rabbit.

Click here for a video preview of the upcoming production

The creative team for this show has completely reinvented the piece known as “Alice in Wonderland”. Gregory Boyd is at the helms directing the piece. Boyd also co-wrote the book along with Jack Murphy. A completely new style of  music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Jack Murphy spices up the entire piece to really help create this new image of Alice. Marguerite Derricks choreographs.

The production has been in workshops since 2005 and finally developed into a working piece in Tampa in 2009 where it played at The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. It transferred to Houston in 2010 where it played at the Alley Theatre. It closed in Houston  in 2010 only to return to Tampa in late 2010/early 2011 before making it’s Broadway debut this spring.

Many aren’t sure what to expect out of this latest rendition of the classic “Alice in Wonderland” story but the future looks bright. The show which is budgeted at $3.3 million dollars already has recouped at least $2 million of that playing to a house 96% full through out its entire Tampa 2010-2011 run. Not only are the story and music looking strong, but so are many of the technical aspects which are reported to be one of a kind. (Especially the costumes)

Wonderland will begin previews on March 21st, 2011 at The Marquis Theatre with an official opening set for April 17th, 2011.

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