Entertainment

Follow the White Rabbit

By July 3, 2011

EDMT presents “Alice in Wonderland” at Three Stages

Curiosity led Alice to follow the White Rabbit into Wonderland. What happened next?

Well, director Rick Wilson asked his cast, “Have you ever had a crazy dream?”

“Yes,” they replied.

“Did everything make sense in your dream?”

“No.”

That’s “Alice in Wonderland,” a 1951 Disney cartoon based on Lewis Carroll’s story that later became an entertaining musical, one El Dorado Musical Theatre’s training casts will bring to life at Three Stages in Folsom beginning Friday, July 8. The training show “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” features two casts — Hearts and Clubs — with 131 young actors, total.

“There was such a huge response that the (audition sheet) filled up in like 20 minutes,” Wilson said.

So, they decided to use two casts and Wilson, who hadn’t planned on taking the helm for this show, became the production’s director. “I think I had eight days before auditions to reread (‘Alice in Wonderland’). I don’t think I’d even looked at the story for 30 years,” Wilson admitted. “It’s a weird story.”

But the musical does smooth out some of the confusion, as well as add in Disney’s classic song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” and the director said he hopes the audience will better understand the story that has more twists and turns than a mountain road. Shrinking and growing, talking flowers, dancing cards and a mysterious purple, striped cat — to name a few— and in the center of it all is Alice, a little girl who just wanted to find the White Rabbit.

“Alice is curious,” said Claire Soulier, 12, of El Dorado Hills, who’s playing the story’s heroine in the Hearts cast. “She doesn’t understand everything (in Wonderland) but when she does understand something she gets really excited about it.”

Narrating Alice’s adventure is the Cheshire Cat, played by Hearts cast member Isabella Fay, 12, of El Dorado Hills. The Cheshire Cat likes playing tricks on Alice, Fay said, but the character goes deeper than that. “He always has a secret he doesn’t want to tell,” Fay said. “I don’t know what it is.”

The secret may stay hidden but the White Rabbit pops up all over the place. Hearts cast member Hannah Hurst, 9, of El Dorado Hills gets to be this central character who’s always late. “He gets to be really fast,” Hannah said.

And those who want tickets to this show should also be really fast. “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” is sure to sell out as Alice look-a-likes and their parents fill the seats at Three Stages, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

The Hearts cast performs at 7 p.m. July 8, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 9, 2 p.m. July 10, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. July 14, and 7 p.m. July 16. The Clubs cast performs at 7 p.m. July 9, 6 p.m. July 10, 7 p.m. July 13, 7 p.m. July 15, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 16, and 2 p.m. July 17. For tickets and more information visit edmt.info.

Noel Stack

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