Main Street Theater Musical: Alice In Wonderland
HOUSTON KIDS AND PARENTS SLIP DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
by Bernadette Verzosa
Six-year-old Riley Korfhage giggled as she muttered to her parents “Off with your head!” She was mimicking the Queen of Hearts who was prancing around the room with Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Rabbit, the Duchess and the Dormouse. The storybook characters were chatting with the children, sharing their wacky adventures and playing musical chairs.
It was as if the Korfhage family of Pearland, along with dozens of other Houston area families, had slipped down the Rabbit Hole! On this magical afternoon, Main Street Theater was transformed into Wonderland for the Wonderland Ball. The event was created to celebrate the Summer 2013 run of the musical Alice In Wonderland. After cupcakes and crafts with the cast, the crowd enjoyed a
fantastic performance.Riley’s mom, Leigh Ann Korfhage, is a teacher at Cockrell Elementary School. For the event, she bought her daughter a special dress made of tulle, satin ribbon and felt heart accents. “Alice in Wonderland is a story that I enjoyed when I was younger, and even now, and I knew my daughter would love to see it,” she says. “Like most girls, Riley loves to dress up and like most moms, I love to dress her up. Dressing like an actual character made it more entertaining for her, and for us, and made Riley feel like she was connected to the play in some small way.”
Riley’s dad, Jason Korfhage, says they have enjoyed several Main Street Theater productions. “So many forms of entertainment these days are technology driven, so we feel it is important to engage her in as many ‘unplugged’ activities as possible,” he says. “I think you want to get kids socialized to these experiences at a young age in order to shift their perception of what ‘entertainment’ can actually include. Musicals are perfect for this.”
ALICE IN WONDERLAND: BOOK TO STAGE
Alice In Wonderland was amazing because of the singing and dancing,” Riley says. “I loved it and I want to see it again.”
The musical is based on the 1865 novel written by Lewis Carroll. The classic story can be challenging to stage coherently with its haphazard plot. But Main Street Theater’s cast and crew captured the heart of the beloved book and skillfully presented all the zany personalities and more. The show features 29 musical numbers that delightfully intensify the twists and turns of Alice’s journey.
“This has been such a truly happy experience from the start! And now audiences are getting to share in that joy,” says Vivienne M. St. John, Main Street Theater for Youth’s Producing Director. “It’s been so much fun to have people share with us their favorite moments including songs they are singing over and over with their children. We’ve had several audience members tell us how much they really loved the music and lyrics. They’ve asked if they can buy the soundtrack! It’s a wacky, wonderful ride.”
When guests were asked about their favorite parts or characters, their answers varied. But for both kids and parents, the highlights were numerous. Everyone was entranced by Alice, played by Shanae’a Moore, as she wandered through Wonderland. But they also worried along with Rabbit, played by Scott Lupton, and were cautious around the Queen of Hearts, played by Beth Lazarou. Mark Ivy was most memorable as the nonchalant Mad Hatter, Rodrick Randall amused as the Cheshire Cat, and Marco Camacho’s dance as Caterpillar was a hit.
A surprising standout scene for the crowd involved the Duchess, played by Ashley Johnson, the crying baby, played by Teresa Zimmerman, and too much sneeze-triggering pepper. Of course, the audience was absolutely charmed with the signature Mad Hatter Tea Party and the famous Queen of Hearts Croquet Game.
Alice In Wonderland runs through July 28. The Queen of Hearts says you must go, or it will be “Off with your head!”