I have heard it said that springtime at Shuangxi is yet lovely. I intend to sail there in a dainty boat.
by AnotherChris  January 3, 2008 2:44 pm

We don’t often see icicles here in the Tallahassee area. Even though temperatures have been averaging in the 20s for the last couple of days I was still surprised when I was driving to work this morning and saw this:

Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee
Ice in Tallahassee

It was surreal, but also pretty amazing.

by AnotherChris   2:29 pm

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit I’m really late writing this. I saw the performance on December 8th, 2007. I’ll skip the rest of the small talk and go right for the review.

It was an interesting mix of dress and casual in the crowd when I arrived. I found my seat quickly and decided to flip through the program to pass the time until the play started. In the little introduction penned by the director, Eva Nielsen-Parks, I found this little nugget:

What appealed to me most about this particular adaptation is how the script preserves the essence of Carroll’s characters and refuses to reduce the work to a syrupy, frenetic cartoon…

Well, no offense to Ms. Nielsen-Parks, but attacking what is arguably the most beloved version of the story outside of their original tellings is not exactly the best way to start something like this. It’s especially boggling considering that some of the costumes and characterizations seemed to be lifted virtually directly from the Disney film. All in all, despite the odd position of characters that sometimes left them facing away from the audience, this was a pretty darn good show.

Some of the actors were quite outstanding. There were a few interesting choices and a bit of over dramatizing here and there, but you could tell that everyone worked hard and it seemed to pay off. A few notable performances included Brent Collingsworth as the Mad Hatter, who appeared to be channeling Ed Wynn with great flair, Will Parente as the March Hare, Patrick Vaughn as the Queen of Hearts, and Christie Fraser as the Caterpillar.

Christie Fraser as the Caterpillar

Liz Torres stood out amazingly well as the Cheshire Cat and her masterful facial expressions were nothing short of astounding. They were all thoroughly entertaining to watch.

Liz Torres as the Cheshire Cat

Jessica Byler was an outstanding Alice, somehow managing to be cute, clever, innocent, and exasperated all at the same time. She gave her all in the performance and it showed. The only quibble I had was her breathy exclamations at the end of nearly every line. I was afraid she was going to have an asthma attack at one point. Though it did get a little old, it really did nothing to detract from her excellent performance.

Jessica Byler as Alice

Far and away the most amazing and entrancing performances of the evening came from Ivie Gabrielle Slocumb as the White Chess Queen and Marissa Chastain as the Red Chess Queen. I absolutely cannot find enough words to justify how incredible these two young women were on stage. They were funny and energetic and I honestly don’t see how Turner auditorium was large enough to contain their practically immeasurable talent. Ms. Slocumb as the somewhat dim-witted White Chess Queen was a delight and had the audience practically rolling on the floor with laughter. Ms. Chastain was equally skillful at bringing the viewers along with her as she amused as the seemingly martial Red Chess Queen. I would say that these two amazing actresses have a huge future ahead of them, but that would be painfully obvious to anyone who has seen them perform. They’re destined for great things and I hope that at least some of it will happen here in Tallahassee. I’d kick over the cost of a ticket to watch them read the phone book, there is no doubt in my mind that they could make it the most interesting reading one could imagine. Amazing doesn’t even come close to describing them. They were definitely the highlight of the show and you could just tell they were having fun.

The astounding Chess Queens

All in all, I found the performance to be a success and I look forward to seeing many of these actors move on to other productions in the area. They were a talented group of performers and I, for one, appreciated all their hard work.

Currently Enjoying…

Star Trek: Voyager
Via Netflix

Random Flickr

Social Networking

Thessair's Twitter AnotherChris on GetGlue AnotherChris on Goodreads Thessair on Flickr

XBOX Gamertag

Site Statistics

  • Page visits to date: