I Want to Speak To The Man Behind the Curtain

I have just returned from the Great White Way. For those of you who aren’t hip to the lingo, that’s theatre speak for Broadway.

A friend at work told me about a deal online where they were selling tickets to a show that was still in previews for $5.

FIVE DOLLARS? FOR A BROADWAY SHOW?!

His answer to, “What show?” could have been “Grass Growing In Winter” and my answer would have been the same.

Sign me up.

And to my surprise, the show was not only one I had heard of, but one that I had been interested in seeing. It was called Wonderland and, as far as I could tell, it was like The Wiz in that it was a modern take on a classic story. Set to music.

How could that go wrong?

You don’t even know.

Okay, okay, to be fair, I had a really good time. The cast was vocally talented (there was an eleven year old girl whose voice gave me chills) and the costumes were fabulous. As in, I fully intend on finding a reason to wear the Mad Hatter’s outfit someday. Think Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

But the plot and the dialogue left something to be desired. Okay, a lot to be desired. As well sung as the songs were, they were overly cheesy. I don’t want to give too much away in case you want to experience this crazy tea party for yourself, but this was not just a revamping of the classic story we all know and love. It was like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz got lost in Neverland and ended up on Sesame Street. Too much feel good nonsense being shoved down your throat.

It was like they didn’t give us, the audience, any credit at all. And vague reference to the original story was beaten over our heads. They might as well have turned to us and said, get it?! Same with metaphors and lessons. It wasn’t enough to leave it up to interpretation. God forbid we miss something. Instead, after the riddle and the metaphor, they spelled it out for us. Just in case.

I mean, half of the fun of Alice in Wonderland is that hardly anything makes sense. It makes you feel like maybe you fell down a rabbit hole. Like maybe we’re all mad here.

I mean, why IS a raven like a writing desk?

So, if you’re looking for fluffy fun and pretty costumes and you can get cheap tickets, I say go for it.

But if you’re looking for a new adventure into the looking glass? Watch Tim Burton’s movie.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 03/23/2011.

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