Music by: Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics by: Jack Murphy
Book by: Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd
Fantasy Author Alice Cornwinkle is on the verge of a breakdown. Her life is a mess - She’s distracted, overwhelmed and bewildered - and it’s taking its toll. Her marriage to Jack is missing the romance it once had, her relationship with her daughter, Chloe, has lost its closeness, and her writing is suffering from a lack of imagination. In short, she is struggling with the same issues that plague most contemporary women.
The musical opens with Alice being berated by her publisher about “why the latest novel isn’t finished yet?” In addition to this humiliation, she’s late for her Family Therapy Session. Again. It’s all falling apart! After the umpteenth disagreement with her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Jack, she runs out of gas - Figuratively, not literally - and falls asleep on her daughter’s bed, surrounded by Chloe’s “Alice in Wonderland” toys.
Her dream comes alive as a 6 foot tall White Rabbit entices Chloe away with him. Alice sees this just in the nick of time, and the chase is on. She is transported via magical Elevator in an astonishing Wonderland, where the issues of her life come up in encounters with a wild an eccentric bunch of extraordinary characters.
Theo, the analytical caterpillar with a taste for jazz and leggy chorus girls, and El Gato, a hipster cat in a ’67 Impala. The White Rabbit is a messenger for the Queen of Hearts, and introduces Alice not only to an enchanted watch that can turn back time, but also to the White Knight, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her soon-to-be-ex, Jack.
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All of the characters come together in a phantasmagoric garden at a Mad Tea Party, presided over by the villainous Mad Hatter - A woman with a very big secret - And the Queen of Hearts - A woman who is smarter than she first appears.
Although Alice tells everyone she meets in Wonderland that she’s “looking for her lost child”, it’s not until the climax that she learns the “lost child” she’s looking for is not her daughter, Chloe, but herself: to see the world with the wonder and curiosity that she once had as a child.
Wonderland made its World Premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tamp, FL in December of 2009. After some further development, the production had a second successful Premiere at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in January 2010, making it one of the highest-grossing shows in that theatre’s history.
Following an engagement at Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL January 4-16, 2011, Wonderland enjoyed a brief engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 in the spring.
Wonderland was produced on Broadway by the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO), William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and directed by Gregory Boyd. The Wonderland Original Cast Recording is available through iTunes from Sony Masterwork.
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