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Theater Review: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland. Photo by Ron Batzdorff.


Fantastic. Rarely does one word sum up a production for me, and even more rarely do I ever describe anything as “fantastic,” but Trial Run Productions’ Alice in Wonderland truly hit all the marks to perfection and is worthy of the adjective.

Alice in Wonderland launched their world premiere at The Ebell of Los Angeles on April 6 and 7, which is fitting given that (1) the Ebell is one of the oldest and largest women’s clubs in the nation, and (2) this fantastic, original, entertaining and tuneful musical experience was created by the female team of Brooke deRosa and Paige Lehnert.

Alice in Wonderland closely follows the original book by Lewis Carroll. A colorful cast of characters, all-new musical numbers and interactive elements resurrect the transformative experience of one’s first encounter with Alice in Wonderland–one of the best stories of all time. The audience was engaged throughout the entire nearly two-hour production.

Alice in Wonderland. Photo by Ron Batzdorff.

I was incredibly pleased to find that the production, promoted as a “musical experience,”  is more of an operatic experience. As an opera enthusiast, I couldn’t have been more excited. The all-original music score was beautiful. I left the performance wishing I could download the soundtrack and listen to it in the car on my way home.

The actors, a cast of about 30, were talented, and their voices beautiful. The baritones of Caterpillar (Ben Lowe) and Walrus (Gabriel Manro) were impressive. My favorite character was the Cheshire Cat (Michael O’Halloran), but I have always been rather “mad” about him. Tweddle Dee (Analisa Idalia) and Tweedle Dum (Skylar Lehr-Bryant) were playful and beautiful, the Mad Hatter (Jack Krimmel) engaging, the White Rabbit (Kirk Garner) hilarious, the Cook (Natalie Scott) mesmerizing (but, please, no more pepper) and the Duchess (Tabatha Skanes) captivating. The Queen of Hearts (Ashley Becker) nearly stole the show.

But it was Alice, played by Brooke Iva Lohman, who was the star. Alice’s beautiful voice kept the audience enamored as we followed her down the rabbit hole into the adventure of our dreams. However, I was mesmerized by the combined talent and beautiful voices of The Flowers (Analisa Idalia, Natalie Scott, and Skylar Lehr-Brent); their songs replay in my mind continuously. Their performance was particularly memorable.

Alice in Wonderland. Photo by Ron Batzdorff.

Every cast member’s performance was excellent and all deserve recognition. The choreography (Liza Barskaya) was wonderful and the original costumes (Marianne Parker) delightful. The stunning LED backdrops were truly impressive. It made me wonder why it took this long to come up with these backdrops?  Where were they in my elementary school play?

Overall, this was an excellent production worthy of a world tour. I am completely in awe of this talented, exceptional group of artists and the geniuses who masterminded this incredible experience that I am so honored to have enjoyed.

This family-friendly musical experience is a delight for all, especially to us who hold Lewis Carroll’s tale close to heart and the Alice in Wonderland purists. It is a fantastical experience young children can enjoy, but an artistic and entertaining experience adults will particularly appreciate.  I wish I could see this production of Alice in Wonderland at least a few more times. Until then, I am looking forward to at least getting my hands on the soundtrack.

A rapt Astrid at Alice in Wonderland
Reviewer Julie Stromberg with her daughter Astrid
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  1. Extraordinary undertaking in a verrrry delightful way!❤️♥️ When will the musical hit Broadway? Special congratulations to the gifted and beautiful Creators of the musical, sisters, Brooke and Paige ! ♥️


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