A reinvented Alice
The absolutely madcap world of Lewis Carroll opened at the Citadel Theatre on Thursday night.
The inquisitive Alice of Alice Through the Looking-Glass steps into a mirror, and finds herself in an eccentric and whimsical world of fantasy.
Throughout the two-hour production, 15 actors play more than twice the number of characters as knights, queens, kings, an egg, a gnat, sheep, fawn and Tweedledee and Tweedledum to name a few.
Most of the capital region’s top tier actors are part of the dream cast. They include Sheldon Elter, Beth Graham, Jesse Gervais, Kristi Hansen, Jan Alexandra Smith, Scott Walters, John Ullyatt and Andrew MacDonald-Smith.
In this topsy-turvy world, former St. Albert actor Matt Alden takes on numerous roles including that of a lion battling the unicorn.
“The audience is going to be blown away by how visual the show is, how fast the show moves along and how true it is to what Lewis Carroll originally wrote, and how much fun it is for both a kid and your inner-child. Even if you come alone, or if you’re an older couple that doesn’t have kids, you will find your inner child is just loving the show,” said Alden.
Alice runs until Sunday, March 20. Tickets are available at 780-425-1820 or online at citadeltheatre.com.
Armchair travellers at Backstage Theatre
Plain Jane Theatre celebrates its nomadic wanderlust through the songs of Noel Coward.
Directed by Kate Ryan, one of St. Albert Children Theatre’s original actors, Wish You Were Here: The Ultimate Traveller’s Guide to the World stars Kendra Connor, Chris W. Cook, Cathy Derkach and Oscar Derkx.
Ryan, a huge fan of Broadway musicals, wrote the in-between scenes and compiled all the songs from different Noel Coward collections and music books, says music director David Fraser.
Fraser, one of the finest pianists from St. Albert, has steered the actors through 25 songs that include gems such as Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Uncle Harry, a short ditty about a man who wanted to be a missionary.
Also included are some of Coward’s technically challenging jazz ballads such as I’ll Follow My Heart and If Love Were All.
“They have an interesting harmonic progression where the lines are chromatic and they jump around a lot,” noted Fraser.
For Fraser, the revue’s magic lies in the way the songs deliver a perennial sense of rambling from place to place.
“The characters come across as seasoned travellers. It’s that sense of wanting to go on an adventure that makes it special.”
Wish You Were Here runs at the Backstage Theatre until Saturday, March 12. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $25 at 780-420-1757 or at tixonthesquare.ca.
And now for sterner stuff
Punctuate! Theatre takes on Hannah Moscovitch’s This Is War now playing at the ATB Financial Arts Barns until Sunday, March 13.
This Is War centres around four Canadian soldiers returning from a conflict in Afghanistan. Through the characters’ interviews and memories, the play takes an in-depth look at the psychological toll that war inflicts on soldiers stationed at the front lines.
Directed by Glenda Stirling, it features Evan Hall, Andréa Jorawsky, Joe Perry and Telly James.
Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 regular, $20 students and seniors. All Canadian Armed Forces soldiers and veterans are invited to any performance free of charge.