Friday, May 6, 2011

Wonderland the Musical

Oh, Alice. What have you done?

We really wanted to like it. Really. We wanted the critics to be wrong. But wow. It just wasn't good. Which is too bad. Because the premise was great. (They set it in New York, and the service elevator dropped her down into Wonderland, where she met all the usual characters.) The actors were great (except Alice, we didn't like Alice, which is also too bad because Isa just told me she was that one girl in In the Heights - "He's packing a stretch limousine..." and we liked her in that. But not as Alice. She should have stayed on 181st Street. Wonderland does not suit her.) The music was great, although the tunes were not catchy. The lyrics.. meh. And the dancing looked like it was choreographed by a college kid doing a senior project.

Throughout the whole thing, you can't help but think that this was a high school production. A really good high school production, mind you, but definitely not broadway. The lyrics and lines were cheesy (even for us) and not very "flowy." Something about it seemed disjointed, like they were forcing it. It's not like Wicked or Les Mis or even Avenue Q where the story, songs, and scenes flow from one into the next. And talking about scenes, they used a very (VERY) minimalist approach to their props and scenery. As in, there wasn't any. We did Alice in Wonderland in my high school, and we had more props. They used lights and projections against four movable walls to show a change in scenery. It was a disappointing take on such a fantasy world that Broadway could have (and should have) done a much better job at.

Ok, enough bashing. I don't like being negative. It feels weird and icky. So, here's a picture and then we'll get to the good parts.

So what was the show's one saving grace? The Knights were hysterical. Their number about being a hero for the damsel - in as cliche boy band style as you can imagine (see below), with moves straight copied from 98 degrees and Backstreet Boys (seriously, see below) - made the show completely worth it (probably because Isa scored two tickets for less than I make in an hour. It may not have been worth it if we had paid full-price). And a new character to Wonderland was Lewis Carroll himself, and I really liked him and his thoughts and advice. And then Alice sang one song we liked toward the end. Well, we liked most of the song. And we liked Alice's daughter. I was really hopeful that she would be the main character. But she wasn't. And I was :( .

Maybe that was it, the show didn't make me fall in love with the main character, and I didn't hate the villain. I was kind of indifferent to both of them, which made me not really care what happened to either of them. But the Knight. I wanted him to win.

But to be fair, after the show, the vast majority of the theatre really seemed to enjoy it (based on eavesdropping on conversations as we exited). So go see it. But go for free.

Isa and I scoured boy bands on YouTube (that was a fun half hour) to bring you the absolute best boy band dance moves (some of these were full-on in the show last night). I give you, N*SYNC:

Ooof, that was long. I got a little carried away there. Thanks for sticking through to the end. And since you did, here's a fun treat. :)

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