"Up Your Rabbit Hole!" is a spirited sendup of "Alice in Wonderland," but its young cast, even though it includes some of the writers themselves, is an uncomfortable match for the ribald subject matter.
By MARK MARINO
"Up Your Rabbit Hole!" is a bawdy twist on the children's classic "Alice in Wonderland," with our heroine portrayed as an ambitious advertising executive so determined to land a condom account that she stalks her potential client during his morning train ride. While waiting at the station, Alice briefly dozes off and is awakened when someone rushes past her and drops a silky blue handkerchief. She chases the stranger onto his train in an attempt to return the handkerchief, gets trapped on board, and meets a talking head (literally) who says that he and the other passengers are on their way to Wonderland to play "The Game." The Red Queen has hidden a flag somewhere in the land, and whoever finds it will become the next ruler. The truth, however, is that "The Game" is nothing more than a game for the queen. She never hid a flag and only claimed to do so because she wanted to see how far people will go to gain power.
Once in Wonderland, Alice encounters many strange, somewhat crass characters, including a lascivious caterpillar obsessed with combat; a smooth-talking, seductive Cheshire Cat with a distinctly Russian accent; and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Brit punk rockers who sing songs of protest against the Red Queen. Each of the oddballs tells Alice that she, too, must play "The Game," and after some hesitation, she finally agrees. Unfortunately, the queen has learned that her flag really is missing, and Alice is accused of the crime. She is put on trial, where most of the characters she befriended now betray her. It's up to Alice to prove her innocence and make it out of Wonderland before she loses her head.
|UP YOUR RABBIT HOLE|
|Written by: Eoin Cahill, Betsy Hooper, Kim Kaiser, Peter Kennedy, Lisa Kingston, Laura Mannino, Ariel Schlamm, a.|
Directed by: Betsy Hooper.
Cast: Laura Mannino, Kim Kaiser, Matt Sergi, Peter Kennedy, Eoin Cahill, Trevor Dawkins, Lisa Kingston, Felicia Hudson, Ariel Schlamm.
150 First Ave. at 9th St.
Fringe Festival 2002, Aug. 9-25, 2002
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"Up Your Rabbit Hole!" was written by members of Queen Mab's Theatre Company, an ensemble of high school and college students who also perform in the production. And therein lies the problem. While most of the actors demonstrate that they have talent, especially Eion Cahill, who tackles different accents with ease and shows a great flair for comedy, they look to be in their teens and seem a little too young for the sophisticated material they have written. And because so much of the humor is ribald, their youthfulness almost detracts from the plot. The caterpillar flicks his tongue at Alice and makes overt sexual advances, the Red Queen is a horndog who talks about sitting on a flagpole and simulates taking the White Rabbit from behind, and there are numerous erection jokes not to mention the giant phallus spray-painted on one of the train cars. Throughout most of the show, I was torn between wanting to wash the actors' mouths out with soap and cover their eyes and ears.
The production could have potential with a cast of older actors or even the same actors, five years from now. But in the meantime, one is left feeling that Alice's train has taken a disturbing detour to Candyland.
|AUGUST 21, 2002|
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WOW! from Bobby J., Dec 10, 2002
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