By John Gauthier
While the rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland” may be late for the un-birthday party, area residents have another opportunity TO experience the delightful musical at the Star Theatre in Willow Springs. Performed by a cast of over 78 local actors under the age of 18, the STARS Foundation production of the Disney musical play brought laughter and cheers to audiences during a three-day run April 18, 19 and 20. The production will be repeated this weekend, April 25, 26 and 27, with show time at 7:00 p.m.
Students from the STARS fine arts program were among the actors who brought life to the animal, flower and card characters and gave enthused renditions of such songs as “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” “The Un-birthday Song,” “Painting the Roses Red” and “I’m Late.”
Rebecca Peterson, who directs the musical play, artfully moves a large juvenile cast on a small stage without detracting from the musical flow. The audience benefits and is provided with a sense of intimacy amid a fanciful but simple stage set to create a memorable musical experience. The cast rendition of “The Golden Afternoon” combined lyrical harmony and balance with colorful costuming to make the flowers seem almost real. The beauty in the flower costumes was amplified by the collective attractiveness of the pre-teen pansies, the teen daisies, lilies and petunias and the older teen roses. A delight!
The three Alices (Tia Copling as tall Alice, Briley Gilkeson as small Alice and Madison Peterson as life-size Alice) turned in superb performances and executed on-stage switches with adeptness. The coy and chattery Cheshire cats (portrayed by Kamron Whipple, LaDana Aguilar and Megan Rosso) were believable and contributed to the play’s continuity and direction. Bailey Gilkeson’s portrayal of the caterpillar as a sassy, classy, hipster songstress was a memorable performance that left many in the audience to wonder where such energy was stored in such a tiny performer. In reality, all the performers in the “Alice” musical brought the Disney and author Lewis Carroll’s characters to life and made for a worthwhile experience.
Check it out for yourself. The public is invited to an evening of pleasure and delight that will create new memories for the younger members of the audience and spark remembrances of the storybook and the film for the older set.
For tickets, call 417-254-3168 or contact STARS via the Internet at www.thestarsfoundation.org. Tickets are also available at Landmark Bank in Willow Springs, Houston and Cabool.
Courtesy, The Cabool Enterprise