Most of us have heard of the story “Alice in Wonderland” in our childhood. We have grown up with the characters Alice, Mad Hatter, Caterpillar, White Knight etc. Who could be more thrilled when a new musical came up based on this very story?
While the makers have been fairly faithful to Lewis Carroll’s original tale, it of course comes with a twist. The new age Alice is someone who texts, tweets, uses Google and is a complete digital era. However, she still finds herself in the Wonderland of old. In this way, this musical becomes endearing to both- the older generation who have grown up reading about Alice in Wonderland as well as to the younger generation , who will be able to relate to and appreciate the multiple references to social networking, texting etc.
It was composed by Frank Wildhorn, directed by Gregory Boyd with Jack Murphy as the lyricist. It boasted of an impressive cast consisting of Janet Dacal, Darren Ritchie, E. Clayton Cornelious, Jose Llana, Karen Mason, Kate Shindle, and Carly Rose Sonenclar among others. The Broadway premiere was held at the Marquis theatre in New York, on April 17, 2011. However, the musical received negative reviews and hence had to close down on May 15, 2011 after 33 performances. However, an original cast recording of the show was released on May 3, 2011.
Wonderland – The Musical traces the journey of Alice – who finds herself in an extremely difficult set of circumstances. She is separated from her spouse and also from her daughter. In addition, she has the fear to lose her hard earned career. A dejected and depressed Alice finds herself in a Wonderland and here she encounters a set of peculiar characters like the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Chloe, the Queen of Hearts and others in her journey to find her daughter. These characters are strange yet familiar to her as they are dressed in the same dresses that they are known to be wearing in the original “Alice in Wonderland” and somehow she seeks solace from them and rediscovers herself and the wonders in her life.
Alice finally awakens from her dream to find her estranged husband at her doorstep who wants to reconcile and finds that the family is together again thus leading to a “happily ever after” ending to the Musical.
The main characters are as below:-
Alice – The main protagonist
The White Knight – A brave sentimental guy who wants to be Alice’s hero in the story.
Caterpillar – Always speaks in riddles
Mad Hatter – One of the main antagonists in the Musical, someone who would resort to any means to get her own way out.
Queen of Hearts – She seems to be the main villain but in reality is just a pawn.
White Rabbit – A timid guy who resorts to being brave when it comes to rescuing his friends
All in all, Wonderland- the Musical is a sharply narrated and well-paced tale. It is crisp, has humor and an artistic modern style to it which makes it appeal well to both adults as well as children despite all the criticism it received.