Pick of the Week
In this show in progress, the many moments of brilliance compensate for some
problems of roughness. When adapting Alice in Wonderland for children, a company must tread lightly over some possibly disturbing material. Not so here.
Lewis Carroll has provided a trove of possibilities for a theater troupe, such as Fabulous Monsters, hoping to exploit the story's every possible fragment of
perversity. Carroll was actually Charles Dodgson, a shy 19th-century Oxford mathematician, whose only pleasure seemed to be the company of little girls,
many of whom posed nude for his photographic hobby. Adapter-director Robert Prior begins with the idea that Dodgson is at the least an odd duck and starts the
play with a premise in which he smokes an opiate for the first time and is rushed headlong into his own fantasy world. Transformed into the classic blond-haired
Alice in a blue smock, he comes face to face with three mirror images of him-herself. Though pushing beyond the edge of madness, Prior and his actors
create their grotesquely funny world in close proximity to the text - making a
case for the author's bizarre and distorted mind. Prior's extreme sense of the weird is scrupulously represented by his
committed ensemble and Prior's terrific costume/set designs. The whole piece is made even richer through the work of
keyboardist-vocalist Cynthia Haagens and percussionist Eric Potter, who create wonder with Indira Stefanianna's original score. Glaxa Studios, 3707 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Wed., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru May 4. (213) 857-7512.
Tom Provenzano - Copyright © 1997, Los Angeles Weekly, Inc. All rights reserved