Alice vs. Wonderland
March 30, 2010

"He has the movie-star quality of Sean Connery…with the popularity of Barack Obama."  This was how the famous actor and artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre, Oleg Tabakov, was described to me—as he sat down in his seat for the opening night of the first-year’s production of Alice vs. Wonderland.  It was the first time Oleg Tabakov had ever been to an American student production.  Needless to say, we were excited—this was a big deal.

The international dimension to Alice began with initial rehearsals back in Cambridge.  Hungarian director János Szász (The Seagull, Desire Under the Elms, Mother Courage) spent January working with first-year actors on the adaptation written by second-year dramaturg Brendan Shea. Having the playwright with us in rehearsals created a collaborative work environment.  This extended to Moscow where Brendan and choreographer Cheryl Turski joined us for a week of tech and brushing up before Alice vs. Wonderland premiered at MXAT’s American studio on March 7th.

Amidst the singing to Lady Gaga and dancing to Gwen Stefani, this fast-paced and colorful take on Alice’s journey appears to be filling a gap in the Moscow theatre scene.  The enthusiastic reaction from Moscow youth, MXAT’s students, and teachers alike remind us that Alice’s coming-of-age story crosses international borders.  It feels like this poppy yet meaningful production is going to take Moscow by storm.

Photos by Anastasia Korotich

Author:
Sara Bookin-Weiner
Publication date:
March 30, 2010
Featured Comment:

Alice vs. Wonderland - on the Loeb Stage starting September 18 - ran for three sold-out months in Moscow this spring.

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