The world premiere of Septime Webre’s ballet Alice (in Wonderland) in Washington, D.C., is less than a month away and Washington Life magazine is readying the town with a front cover photoshoot for their March edition. Sneak peak pictures are below and more can been seen online at Washington Life.
Also on the website is a behind-the-scenes account of the photoshoot, which involved trampolines, live white rabbits, and photographer Dean Alexander snapping the camera at just the right moment.
Skin Horse Theater Presents: "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll
Fresh air and nonsense is available for all at the New Orleans Museum of Art for the next two Saturdays of this month. The Hunting of the Snark, adapted for children by Skin Horse Theater, is being performed in the Sculpture Garden on March 10 and March 17 at 3pm. Admission is free. These daytime performances will each be followed by an evening performance at the Backyard Ballroom, 3519 St. Claude Avenue, at 10 pm, with a $5 admission fee. Will these late night Snarks be equally child-friendly, we wonder? The Backyard Ballroom doesn’t have a website; to find out more about the performances call (504) 473-6819.
Founded at Bard College in 2008, Skin Horse Theater has a bit of history with Lewis Carroll: their inaugural performance was Curiouser: A Historical Inaccuracy, which entwined the lives of Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell and Sylvia Plath.
Opening night for the Washington Ballet’s ALICE (in wonderland) is just around the corner and tickets are selling quickly. The world premiere production is the work of Washington Ballet choreographer Septime Webre, designer Liz Vandal, and composer Matthew Pierce. It is being heralded as a fantastical take on an already pretty fantastical story and the contribution of Liz Vandal, whose creations you may have seen at the Cirque du Soliel’s OVOshow (the one with the insects), certainly suggests that this ballet is going to be a splendid spectacle.
Vandal’s costume sketches for the production were unveiled in January and were featured on the Huffington Post. They seem to promise a little bit of the familiar and a lot of the very strange indeed. Many more character sketches can been seen in a slideshow that accompanied the Huff Post’s article.
ALICE (in wonderland) will run from from April 11-15 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater, with only seven performances in all. Tickets are priced from $55 to $155.
The Omaha World-Herald has reported some great news from Iowa where the national Poetry Out Loud competition at the Iowa School for the Deaf was won with a performance of Jabberwocky. First-time contestant Gabby Humlicek wowed the judges with her choice. ”It was a really challenging poem to turn into American Sign Language,” Humlicek said. In rendering Carroll’s nonsense words Humlicek said it helped that “I’m a gregarious signer, and I practiced.” The newspaper reports that Gabby will go on to the state competition in De Moines this March – success there could lead to Washington D.C. and a bid for the national title. We wish her luck!
I couldn’t find an online video of Gabby’s performance, but for the curious I did manage to find another anonymous performance on YouTube. It’s fascinating to try and follow along with the poem. I am not sure what is happening 40 seconds in but I think it might be the frumious bandersnatch and, if so, it is pretty scary. It would be great if any readers of this blog who know ASL could offer us a commentary.
Secret supper clubs are all the rage, so we’ve heard (we’ve never found one). Right now, somewhere in Vancouver, the Swallow Tail Supper Club is entertaining diners with fine food, cocktails, and live entertainment on a Wonderland theme. Local blogger Ariane Colenbrander seems to be in on the secret:
The evening starts at the outskirts of a moonlit forest, where guests are greeted by a frantic White Rabbit, who ushers them down the rabbit hole, to a nostalgic world of childhood fairytale characters. The Mad Hatter pours tea and soup is served in a “Drink Me” bottle labeled either “Big” or “Small”. The bottle guests drink from will determine their next course. More...
According to the same blog, celebrity chef and Food Network star Bob Blumer may also be involved, though it is not clear how. The supper club will be operating for only a few more days—they don’t seem to be sold out yet. Tickets cost $129 a head.
You know how it is. You read an email alert which leads to a blog, which leads to a YouTube clip, which leads to you spending 6:31 minutes watching a 1987 spoof of Madonna’s “Material Girl” starring Alice and six men in Tweedle suits, shot entirely on location and out of hours in Disney World, Florida.
It’s brilliantly awful, but if for any reason you can’t quite watch it all, at least skip to the end to read the extensive credits. Prominent thanks are given to the Walt Disney World Character Wardrobe, on the principal that sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, I assume.
Alice and Steampunk both seem good ingredients to make a perfect Halloween haunted house. If you’re in New York City this week, there’s a spooky new Steampunk Haunted House at Abron’s Art Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, created by Third Rail Projects.
Following up on last year’s “Waking Nightmare,” this year, the critically acclaimed Third Rail Projects behind Steampunk borrows from author Lewis Carroll’s dark side for a show called “Through the Looking Glass.” But make no mistake; it’s not for children, and no one under 8 is admitted. The disclaimer warns that it’s “a frightening, immersive experience that winds through the theater and catacombs of the Abrons Playhouse … There will be fog effects, intense flashes of light, loud noises, lots of dust, soot, dripping pipes, churning gears, rusty metal, and other things that will hurt you if you touch them.”
The show starts on Saturday; tickets, which are available online, are $10 for students and $20 to $25 for adults, depending on the day of the week. There’s also a special Halloween party fundraiser for Third Rail on Oct. 26 that includes a cocktail reception and behind-the-scenes look at the project; those tickets are $50.
How often do you hear the phrase “inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno“? If your answer is “not enough,” check out the reviews for Outland, a new play currently being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
UK national newspaper the Guardian described it as “a flight of fancy into parallel universes exploring the nature of creativity… spurred by the suggestion that the creator of Alice in Wonderland suffered from a form of epilepsy that made him see the world differently from the rest of us.”
What can audiences expect from Outland?
They can expect a lot of typical Carroll nonsense and characters; there’s a fair bit of Wonderland and his obsession with puzzling logic. However, you’ll also meet some new characters, if you’re not familiar with his more obscure work, and perhaps another much more profound, sentimental, philosophical side to him. The play has its surreal, absurd moments that you’d inevitably expect but it’s also touching, sweet and introvert.
Outland is running from August 3-29 at the C Soco venue in Edinburgh.
Nancy Willard sends Clare Imholtz this piece of snail-mail correspondence as a ‘guest blog,’ a report of a local production of Alice in Wonderland witnessed in Provincetown, Mass.
August 6, 2011
I am writing from Cape Cod. Lewis Carroll is thriving here. Two productions of Alice are listed in the local newspaper, and yesterday I attended one of them, in Provincetown. When I told the director that I would be writing to the Lewis Carroll Society about it, he was ecstatic. Needless to say, the production was an adaptation, a wonderfully zany and lively affair, and I think the ingenuity the actors showed in staging “The Pool of Tears” and “The Garden of Live Flowers” in a small space would have amused Carroll. The director told me that the aim of their theater was to put on plays that would be greatly enjoyed by both adults and children.
The play, Alice in Wonderland (A Musical Curiosity), was performed by the Pee Wee Players of Provincetown. It was adapted by Matthew Lazure with additional songs by Ryan Landry, and directed by Marc Guerrette. The players were Matthew Lazure, Marc Guerrette, Megan Ludlow, Billy Hough, and James P. Byrne.
It runs weekend evenings at 5:30pm through September 4th, in the Vixen at the Pilgrim House, Provincetown, Mass. Thank you, Nancy!
Monday morning off to a dull start? Transform it with this Vocaloid musical created by the Japanese artist known as Oster Project.
The part of Alice (and possibly all the other parts as well – I’m shaky on the technology here) was “sung” by Hatsune Miku, a singing synthesizer application which was created using vocal samples from Japanese actress Saki Fujita. Hatsume Miku, one of many singing personas created using the Vocaloid software, has become a virtual idol: her album topped a Japanese weekly album chart and she even performed “live” in Tokyo in last year.