According to The Oxford Times online, some enterprising Oxford College graduates have devised a new board game (how suitably retro!) called Dreaming Spires, in which players can create their own Oxford College–starting back in 1189 and moving forward in time from there. Characters include Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, and of course, our own Lewis Carroll.
To read more about this new treat, including a downloadable try-before-you-buy version, click me.
In case (like me) you weren’t able to attend the LCSNA’s by-all-accounts-fabulous Fall meeting in Los Angeles, host USC’s campus newspaper the Daily Trojan offers a helpful recap, although alas with some errors and omissions–the most egregious being that the names George and Linda Cassady, and also Daniel Singer, should have been front and center along with talented artist Karen Mortillaro. In addition to partnering with Karen and Daniel on planning the entire event, the Cassadys offered a private tour of their awe-inspiring Carroll collection at USC that has attendees still buzzing. They are also the driving force behind the Wonderland Award mentioned in the article. And just as Karen welcomed members for a private look at her studio, Daniel Singer kindly opened his home to members for a viewing of his own substantial Carrollian collection, as well. Our thanks once again to all who contributed to making this meeting so extraordinary, both the wonderful speakers on the podium (real and virtually) and those working behind the scenes to make the magic happen. By all accounts, it was a weekend that all attendees marked with a white stone.
To read about it in the Daily Trojan, click me!
Curiouser and curiouser. Even if you don’t follow the gossip columns, or go to the movies, chances are you’ve heard of talented actress Kristen Stewart, star of the megahit Twilight film franchise, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, among others. Perhaps that second title should have given us all a hint; it turns out that Ms. Stewart grew up in a fairytale, Wonderland-themed home, complete with a giant chess board by the pool, and several Alice-themed murals. The home is now on the market due to her parents’ pending divorce; if you have $1.75 Million, you can snap it up for yourself!
To view pictures of the property, click me.
One of our mimsy minions has shared a link to an interesting blog post that discusses the concept of Lewis Carroll as an Art Director–after all, he certainly oversaw all aspects of the publishing of the two Alice books. The post also provides links to three related Pinterest boards.
To read all about it, click me.
Karen Mortillaro: The White Rabbit
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, remember that this weekend is the LCSNA’s semi-annual meeting. Our meetings are always free and open to the public, and we have a great roster of speakers and events. Join us!
Visit our Events page for the details.
The Volcano Theatre Company is presenting an all-female, avant-garde production of Alice in Wonderland at various locations in Britain through November 23rd. For more information about the show, click me.
And here’s a look at their rehearsal process, including a few words from the production’s director, who opines that (ahem) the original book isn’t really read that much anymore…! (TIP: If the video doesn’t load below, try refreshing this page.)
If you’re into all things Alice, and cooking as well, you might enjoy reading this write-up about an out-of-print but amusing Alice-themed cookbook.
In addition to eccentric recipes, the book is liberally “peppered” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) with quotes from two of Lewis Carroll’s works: Feeding the Mind, and Hints for Etiquette, or Dining Out Made Easy. Here’s a sample of the seasoned and sage (sorry, this is just too easy) advice:
“To use a fork with your soup, intimating at the same time to your hostess that you are reserving the spoon for beefsteaks, is a practice wholly exploded.”
Memory lane is strewn with many curious things, including Wonderland-themed musical numbers from various television shows. Here, in Episode 506 of The Muppet Show, a young and charming Brooke Shields (whose singing has improved significantly since this very early effort) plays the role of Alice in a musical number about her trip down the rabbit hole, appropriately titled “Falling.”
All sorts of odd Jim Henson creatures float by Alice as she falls. Doctor Teeth’s head is on the Cheshire Cat’s body, and he gets to sing the best lyrical zinger, one that pretty much sums up most Alice adaptations. Listen for it!
Thanks to one of our mimsy minions for sending along the link to this amusing vintage clip. (If the video doesn’t show below, try refreshing this page.)
We’re all mad here….
The pairing of our Alice with mental institutions is nothing new. The latest entry in this dark and rather crowded category is a new play premiering in Orlando, Florida called Alice Lost in Wonderland. It presents a character named Jane (as in Doe) whose search for sanity and her own identity is wrapped up in her search for Lewis Carroll’s character of Alice, whom she believes is real.
The play will be performed through November 3rd. To read a review from the Orlando Sentinel, click me.
If you’re a fan of theme parks, you might enjoy this vintage promotional clip from the early ’60s for Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, CA. Alice appears as tour guide at around 3:55, and at 9:20 she shows the little Wonderland Carousel. Staff claim their park inspired Walt Disney to create his own. If nothing else, this clip makes for an interesting cultural time capsule!