Alice Goes Through The Looking Glass in Las Vegas
Last summer, I experienced a show that combined three of my favorite things in the world: Alice In Wonderland, musical theater and Las Vegas. I reviewed ALICE A Steampunk Concert Fantasy then (spoiler alert- I liked it). But this is now! I saw the show again last month, and there are so many new and exciting changes, an updated review is definitely in order.
First, let’s talk about what hasn’t changed. ALICE is still a rock opera featuring inspired classic and contemporary song choices you know and love. The plot still involves Alice falling down the rabbit hole and encountering her looking-glass twin Ecila, as well as more traditional Wonderland characters such as the Caterpillar and Cheshire Cat. The bulk of the singing is still done by Anne Martinez (Alice) and Ashley Fuller (Ecila), and they still blow the doors off the joint. If you listen carefully, you can probably hear them through these photographs. That’s how powerful their voices are, people!!!
One of the highlights of the show continues to be a mind-blowingly athletic pas de deux by April Leopardi as The Duchess and Ryan Kelsey as The Red Knight. Plates are thrown. Our camera’s sports mode was no match for these two; every photo of their dance was a complete blur, save these dramatic moments at the beginning and end.
Other familiar faces I was pleased to see again: ALICE makeup artist extraordinaire Adolfo Baretto doing double duty as The White Rabbit…
Gifted dancer Claudia Mitria as The Caterpillar enticing everyone to smoke the hookah…
Eric Morgan as The White Knight remains impressive every minute he is on stage. Here he is ready to rock out with Alice and The Red Knight.
So what was different about ALICE this time around? The costumes have evolved, due in no small part to the influence of the show’s new Cheshire Cat, Jeffrey DeBarathy!
During a post-show chat, Anne (Alice) explained to me how challenging it is to create convincing steampunk costumes that are lightweight enough to withstand rigorous choreography and aerial arts. (Did I mention there are aerials now? There’s aerials now.) She said that Jeffrey wears steampunk clothes in real life, so he was an obvious choice to join the costume team in addition to being a fabulous addition to the cast. I got a chance to talk with Jeffrey after the show, and he’s a super chill, down-to-earth guy.
Another change to the show’s lineup: The Red Queen, previously portrayed by a rotating roster of guest stars, is now permanently the domain of Vegas dance veteran Lora Kelsey. Lora doesn’t make her entrance until late in the show, and when she does, she absolutely brings the house down. Probably because she pole dances on stilts. You heard me.
Lastly, ALICE has a new venue! She now resides ON The Strip at the Brooklyn Bowl, which is part of The Linq entertainment district. Upcoming 2016 dates are May 17 and June 14. The show starts at 11PM, but you’ll want to get there at 10PM for the pre-show, in which multi-talented Vegas performers give their interpretations of various Wonderland and Looking-Glass characters.
I am clearly a big fan of ALICE A Steampunk Concert Fantasy. It is a tight production teeming with accomplished performers, and it’s a Sin City bargain at $30 ($20 for locals!). Hopefully it will land a more regular schedule soon so that more Vegas visitors can be dazzled by A Mad Tea-Party…
The Queen’s Croquet Ground…
And this immensely talented cast!
Have you seen ALICE? What did you think?
p.s. Seeing ALICE on stage is a perfect ending to a day full of Alice in Wonderland in Las Vegas, check it out!