Alice Revisits Wonderland for a Tea
Childhood dreams were revived as
audience members of "Alice and The
Wonderful Tea Party" joined Alice in
her return to the fantasy land of her
childhood. Written and directed by
Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, the
play filled with witty puns and factual
nonsense, rang true to Lewis Carroll's
original classic tale.
The play takes place in the golden
afternoon, where the Queen of Hearts
invites Alice to a tea party. Except the
tea at this party was full of absurdity.
Simpleton characters Tweedle Dee
and Tweedle Dum have eaten all the
food and are now on a hunt to find
more. The audience was involved in
all aspects of the show, as characters
walked up to them asking for bits of
food and advice.
At the Santa Monica Playhouse, the
actors put their all into the production of
the show, where they are not only stage
wperformers but also ushers beforehand
and janitors after. This is a true testament
to their dedication.
Having five actors playing eight
parts fit just right into the madness
and organized disorganization of
"Wonderland." Alice herself, played
by Selena Dolinsky, was still the very
obvious voice of reason. However, as she
was now an adult Alice, she was missing
the na've exuberance that is usually
associated with her character.
The most vivid and colorful character
had to be the Queen of Hearts. Played
by Cydne Moore, she was complete
royalty on stage. It is impossible to
imagine her without the makeup and
costume because she was so immersed
in her role. Her tight red curls, constant
drivel and sporadic shouts of "off with
your head!" would have made the Queen
of Hearts proud.
The play has been running for over
25 years and Moore originally played
the part of Alice for 15 years, while her
husband was the queen. Dolinsky started
off playing a different character before
getting the lead as Alice -Tweedle
As for the current Tweedle Dee and
Tweedle Dum, they had a wonderful
harmony together and a magnificent
presence on stage. They finished
each other's sentences with ease and
smoothness, and moved their bodies in
the same swift motion each time.
John Waroff, who plays the Mad
Hatter had that special twinkle in his
eye. Always looking lost and confused
on stage was the true genius of his
acting. It was impossible to tell if he
was unsure of how to position himself
or if this was exactly the way the Mad
Hatter was supposed to be.
The play itself was mystical with no
real plot line, but since when does Alice
in Wonderland ever have a plot line that
is easy to follow? Most of the puns went
way over the heads of the children in
the audience, as the people laughing
throughout the show were adults. Alice
had grown up and so had the references,
creating an Alice in Wonderland geared
towards an adult audience.
The stage was decorated with red
roses, making it apparent to all that we
had entered the garden of the queen.
The colors were whimsical and though
the stage was small, the actors brought
a whole lot of personality to this funloving
Sunday, Nov. 30 was the last showing
of "Alice and The Wonderful Tea Party"
for 2008, but as 25 years of time has
shown, it will definitely be back on
the main stage of the Santa Monica
Playhouse again soon.