If you are wondering what you could do this weekend that might bring a little more Wonderland into your life, permit us to offer the following suggestions:
If you live in New York, you could try to get last minute tickets to Then She Fell, a creepy trip down the rabbit hole staged in an abandoned hospital and described by the New York Post as “a fiendishly clever immersive theater piece.” If the show is all sold out, you could console yourself by booking tickets to AliceGraceAnon at the Irondale Center between October 21 and November 9. The play depicts an emotional collision between three girls: Carroll’s fictional Alice, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, and the anonymous narrator of Go Ask Alice, the diary of drug taking that caused sensation in 1971. Reviewers say it is seriously trippy…
If you live in Seattle, you could try and gate-crash the 110th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association at Seattle University to see Amanda Lastoria of Simon Fraser University deliver a paper called “Selling Wonderland: How Lewis Carroll Built his Alice Empire.” In her paper Amanda will advance her thesis that Lewis Carroll was a publishing dynamo whose considerable business savvy has been little recognized.
If you live in Manchester, England, you could see Gaynor Arnold speaking at the Manchester Literary Festival about her new book After Such Kindness, a fictionalized account of the relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. The event will be held at the Portico Library on Saturday at 6.30 p.m.
And if you live anywhere else, well, isn’t it time you started planning your Alice-themed Halloween costume? A good source of ideas might be this this photo slide show of recent and not-so recent big-budget, Alice-themed events. The slide show reveals both what a strange assortment of organizations decide on an Alice in Wonderland theme for their event (OfficeMax is one) and that the Canadian Cancer Society knows how to throw a good party.
This Lewis Carroll-inspired theater installation seems interesting for its interactive aspects and impressive scope. It’s happening in different parks around Seattle during weekends in July and August: today at 4pm in Lake Meridian Park, Kent, WA; July 30th & 31st at 4pm, Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Bellevue, WA; and August 6th at 11:30 & 2:30, Les Gove Park, Auburn, WA. WONDERLAND: Alice Adventures is part of 4Culture’s Site Specific Performance Network. Here’s the blurb from Theater Simple:
A free theatrical park escapade, WONDERLAND is inspired by and adapted from Charles Dodgson’s (Lewis Carroll) Alice stories, as well as Dodgson’s wordplay, math games and puzzles.
An all-ages adventures, theater and visual arts weave whimsically together within a parkland, playing with the creative perspectives of imaginations.
THE GOAL: To look at ideas of PERSPECTIVE, CREATIVITY and PLAY – and have some serious fun.
Who can play? EVERYONE.
FOLLOW White Rabbits!
SEE the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle on the Locks! Dance the Lobster Quadrille!
HEAR the Tweedle twins recite the Walrus and The Carpenter
PLAY GIANT tic tac toe with the White Queen or croquet with the King and Queen of Hearts!
EXPLORE a tiny house and a giant flower garden!
FIND all the riddles and puns stashed around the park!
DRAW what you see, and see what you draw!
And of course, listen to the timeless words of the story, and puzzle your way through the event on your own.
And here’s a nice slideshow of images from the 2010 debut of the project in Seattle’s Botanical Gardens:
The picture above is from the website for Seattle’s new oyster bar opening in July, The Walrus and the Carpenter, “located at the South end of Seattle’s Historic Ballard Avenue in the newly renovated Kolstrand building” . They even included the full poem on their site! The blurb:
Award winning Chef Renee Erickson (Boat Street Café/Boat Street Pickles) has partnered with Business Manager Jeremy Price and Developer Chad Dale to realize her long time vision for an Oyster Bar. It makes perfect sense then, that she would do it in her own neighborhood.
Opening this July, The Walrus and the Carpenter blends the elegance of France with the casual comfort of a local fishing pub. “The idea is to serve the highest quality food and drink in a space that is stripped of pretense …it should feel like home.”
The newly restored Kolstrand building on the south end of Ballard Ave, will be the perfect home for this rustic, light-filled, oyster haven. Plans for an outdoor space are also in the works. In addition to oysters, the menu will include locally harvested clams and mussels, house smoked fish, frites, and specialty meats. A full selection of wine, craft cocktails, and beer will also be available. And did we mention brunch? Brunch is served Sundays, 10am-2pm.
Ah, summer. Just in time.
I hope every dining experience will also include ruminations on innocence and death.