Review: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at The Collaborative Theatre Company at Fells Point Corner Theatre

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Delving into classic text with histrionic flair, The Collaborative Theatre Company (TCT) presents The Manhattan Project’s version of Lewis Carroll’s time-honored 1865 tale, Alice in Wonderland, which the company created through experimental rehearsals in the mid-1970s, culminating in an inventive interpretation, with an esoteric spin, at Fells Point Corner Theatre.

Barbara Madison Hauck as The Cheshire Cat. Photo by Rob Clatterbuck.

“We are reimagining Alice’s antics in a raw journey through the human condition that is informed by some of the great minds of the 20th Century, including Freud, Jung, Kafka and Dali,” Director Kel Millionie (who also serves as the production’s Lighting and Set Designer) explains. “This show is a roller coaster of emotional and sociological insights. It’s ridiculous and utterly fantastical, and there are several moments that reflect on turbulent political climates, the id, and even abstract expressionism.”

Drawing upon the original Alice in Wonderland plot, a versatile troupe of six actors, performing 32 different characters, takes the audience down the rabbit hole to an intriguing, yet confounding, world of mystery and magic. Each of the cast members seamlessly depicted his/her respective roles with great enthusiasm and energy, which were further enhanced with the espousal of Sound Designer Christopher Flint and Costume Designer Ann Turiano.

The Cast of Alice in Wonderland. Photo by Rob Clatterbuck.

With child-like curiosity and confusion, adorably-attired Sarah Burton delivered a fantastic rendering of Alice – her detailed facial expressions whenever she was frustrated was particularly engaging and endearing. Similarly, Holly Gibbs was memorably delightful as The Red Queen and The White Queen, as well as the French-speaking Mouse. Likewise, Chris Cotterman was terrific, wearing six hats as Lewis, Crab, Mushroom, Hare, Forest, and Humpty Dumpty.

Sarah Burton, as Alice and Chris Cotterman, as Lewis. Photo by Rob Clatterbuck.

Rounding out the hardworking ensemble: Barbara Madison Hauck as Lory, Mushroom, The Cheshire Cat, The Red King, and Alice’s Ball; Gabe Fremuth as the Duck, Dutchess, The Mad Hatter, and The Queen’s Ball; and, Nick Fruit as the Rabbit, Dodo, Caterpillar, Dormouse, Forest and The White Knight.

Audaciously reimagined into a raw and reflective roam through alternative lenses, The Collaborative Theatre Company’s rendition of Alice in Wonderland whimsically remixes an epic narrative with artistic animation and eclectic vision.

Running Time: Approximately 85 minutes, with no intermission.

Alice in Wonderland plays through June 25, 2017, at The Collaborative Theatre Company performing at Fells Point Corner Theatre – 251 South Ann Street, in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door or online.

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