It’s settled – the best way to end the working week is by heading to see some local theatre. Meg and I (Rose) were lucky enough to score the final two seats to 16th Ave Theatre’s matinee performance of Alice in Wonderland last Friday – and boy, did we have a blast!
All praise to director Jonty Climo: you’ve done a wicked job of integrating snappy musical numbers and an extremely enthusiastic cast to bring to life a twisted version of everyone’s favourite classic.
Shania Whale, as Alice, brought a gentle sincerity to the stage – a lovely balance to the chaos and madness happening around her. Her on-stage rapport with George Hiku (The White Rabbit) was genuine and heart-warming: a particular highlight was Hiku’s earnest rendition of Stand By Me (as was his infectious energy that had the crowd roaring in true pantomime style).
The musical numbers delighted to no end: Sarah Coleman’s charming paw-trayal of the Cheshire Cat enchanted us all, and I’m still not sure how Matthew Henderson (The Mad Hatter) managed to sing so many words in so little time. Special mention must be made to Ashleen Fahy as The Knave of Hearts: when Fahy spun around to reveal that show-stopper of a costume change, my heart stopped – and I couldn’t stop cheering for her, despite her wicked characterization. That power-house voice! We were all nearly won over to the dark side…
And, of course, what a performance from our dear friend at The Kollective… Lawdy, Miss Gordy, you certainly were bawdy! Gordy Gray-Lockhart’s flirtatious nature as the Duchess of Wonderland had us in hysterics from start to finish.
The show was a true delight. We left grateful to reside in such a creative community: congratulations, 16th Ave Theatre! We can’t wait to see what you do next.