The Mock Turtle (Gregory Atkin) teaches Alice (Alexandra Palting) how to dance the Lobster Quadrille, with dancers (left to right) Knave of Hearts (Mabelle Fomundam), Gryphon (Terrance Fleming), Five of Spades (Hannah McKechnie), Seven of Spaces (JC Payne). “Alice in Wonderland.” Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus.
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, from April 27 to May 27, will present its adaptation of “Alice In Wonderland.” “Alice in Wonderland,” a classic tale written by Lewis Carroll, has been revisited and reinterpreted by media and acting companies numerous times, yet the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company managed to mold the well known story in a way that is still entertaining for a modern audience.
One of the greatest and most recognized aspects of Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is its childlike flair; the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production captured that youthful whimsy perfectly. To begin with, the set, designed by Chester Stacy, resembled an enchanted garden of sorts which immediately transported the audience members “across the looking glass,” so to speak.
The audience lived Alice’s experiences; they shrank with her, they grew colossally with her, they swam with her and they danced with her. Specifically, these were the moments when the audience members were encouraged to use their own imaginations which is the entire purpose of the story: to ignite and enlighten the imagination of a mundane adult mind.
The actors were spectacular; they each approached their characters with authenticity. Alexandra Palting, who portrayed Alice, perfectly presented Alice’s conflicting confusion and awe with the new world she had entered. She also carried herself as a child, meaning she would mimic the other characters and toy with her fingers and feet when Alice was not directly addressed or invited into conversation.
Michael Toperzer, the White Rabbit, impeccably portrayed the anxious tendencies and timidness of the White Rabbit. Toperzer was lively, energetic and fully engaged the audience. He even ran throughout the seating among the audience members in a frenzy and constant hurry.
Vince Eisenson presented a lovely interpretation of the Mad Hatter. Although, in the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production, the character was a bit milder and less exaggerated than in other portrayals, Eisenson’s performance was more reminiscent of the authentic tale. Eisenson made the Mad Hatter easy to admire and to trace motive in all of his madness.
Gregory Atkin, who played the Mock Turtle among many other characters such as the Wind, was an audience favorite. He was the most humorous and comical of all the characters. To each of his characters, he added a touch of musicality and sass which the audience adored. Atkin is also a phenomenal singer and overall performer who added his own touch to the classic, usually forgotten characters, making them very memorable.
Above all, one could easily tell that the actors love what they do. Before the show and during intermission, the actors would either walk around in character and interact with the audience or play songs on stage. They livened and excited the audience by just having fun themselves.
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will present “Alice in Wonderland” until May 27. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has a whole list of plays planned for the 2018- 2019 season. These plays include: “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Macbeth,” “A Christmas Carol” and many more.
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company put on an incredible performance and it is encouraged for students to come and abandon their mundane responsibilities for a night full of imagination with the cast of “Alice in Wonderland”.