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Theater Shows
Lookingglass Alice

Looking back.

centerstage reviewed this performanceReviewed by Centerstage!Go Chicago!

Lookingglass Theatre Company
821 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611 Map This Place!Map it

Lookingglass Theatre Company


Related Info:
Official website

Runs June 16, 2010-September 12, 2010

Friday7.30 p.m.
Saturday3 p.m. (Check official schedule) & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday3 p.m.
Thursday3 p.m. (check official schedule) & 7:30 p.m.

Recommended a "Must See" Show

Head back through the Lookingglass with the fourth remount of this circus-infused hit. David Catlin's adaptation of the Wonderland sequel is fleet, disorienting, and enthralling, full of physical feats and theatrical transformations. Suitable for children, grown-ups and anyone who wants to see something really quite peculiar.

reviewed performanceCenterstage Show Review
Reviewer: Zev Valancy
Friday Jun 25, 2010

There is one thing any adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels must be: full of wonders. And while "Lookingglass Alice" has some flaws, it is a stunning success by that standard. There isn't a show in town with a higher wow-to-minute ratio.

The play, adapted by David Catlin, who also directs, follows the structure of "Alice Through the Looking Glass," using material both from that novel and from "Alice in Wonderland." Using a cast of only five, it embodies scenes from the novels with stunning clowning and circus work. Everything from the Caterpillar to the mad tea party to Humpty Dumpty appears, but none just replicate the images to which we're accustomed — the production re-imagines them in a thrillingly theatrical way.

It suffers from the primary flaw that any adaptation of the source material does: the novels are episodic, lacking any compelling dramatic throughline. This is fine on the page, but can leave any live version feeling like a string of brilliant moments that don't entirely connect. Catlin's version makes connections between the story and the process of growing up, but it doesn't solve the problem. And though all of the displays of circus arts are stunning, some go on too long.

But when the show is this entertaining, it's hard to care. The cast is spectacular, with each member having multiple moments to shine while working as a flawless ensemble (all but Alice play a wide variety of parts). Alice never leaves the stage, and Lindsey Noel Whiting makes us love her while making the acrobatics look easy. Among the many great characters created by the other actors are Molly Brennan's imperious Red Queen (do not check your cell phone when she's onstage), Anthony Fleming III's sinuous Cheshire Cat, Thomas J. Cox's daffy White Knight, and Kevin Douglas' crazed Mad Hatter. All five (and the superb designers and stage crew) make the magic happen, and it's a wonder.

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