The Arts Association-Newton County presented Covington Regional Ballet's "Alice in Wonderland" at the Olive Swann Porter Hall Auditorium the first weekend in May. The dancers converged on stage from Mainstream Dance and the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre thus creating the Covington Regional Ballet.
My daughter Hollie, has loved the story of "Alice in Wonderland" as a child because it causes one to stretch the mind beyond normal limits and dream with crazy subjects and wild colors. We surprised her daughters Charlotte, 6, and Ansley, 12, with a mystery trip to the theatre with the intent of tantalizing their minds the same as Hollie enjoyed as a child with "Alice in Wonderland" books.
First, compliments of Buncie Lanners the Arts Association Director, a trip to the performers' dressing rooms provided the pre-performance excitement of the hustle and bustle of getting ready. Mothers, grandmothers and other volunteers lovingly helped the cute ladies and handsome gents change into their amazing character costumes. Every accessory was carefully laid out for the performers.
If you know the story, you'll remember that everything started out in a normal clip as Alice was happily reading her book on a gorgeous spring day. The hum of the norm sweetly enticed Alice to slumber. And then it all happened wildly as Alice "awoke" and experienced a totally bazaar world. Alice saw a jittery white rabbit fall down a hole and she did the same thing trying to pier down and see where it went. That's when Charlotte and Ansley's eyes bugged out. The stage became wild with weird moving colored lights while Alice was descending. While at the bottom of the hole, Alice began to cry as she couldn't seem to get through any of the several doors that all of a sudden became available to her. Her tears turned into sparkly teardrop shaped creatures that danced around her.
The Cheshire cat was an absolute ham on stage as it constantly danced around the stage, licked its paw, cleaned its fur and would mischievously tap on Alice's shoulder to tease her.
The Mad Hatter was dressed lavishly in shades of blue and purple. He was eccentric as the book portrays. Silly scenes prevailed throughout the production as Dormouse came out of the darling huge teapot. The movement of the actors added tremendous giggle factors to the audience. The Caterpillar, vibrantly dressed as a genie, visited with
Alice while perched on an oversized mushroom. He gave the feeling of mystery while jesting mystically.
The Queen of Hearts and husband were classic in their costumes and demeanor. Even though Alice received an invitation to a game of croquet, the Queen was furious. As the story goes, a game of croquet ensued that was played with an amazing twist. As the Queen swung one of her Flamingo mallets and hit a Hedgehog, it immediately rolled up and zipped through a wicket formed by the legs of a perfectly outfitted Playing Card. (Again the costumes were gems on stage. We send our compliments to the costume director and designers for a superb display.) When Alice tried to do the same as the Queen had done, upon her turn, the Hedgehog rolled in the opposite direction and the Playing Card's wicket broke. ‘Twas truly silly to see such a sight on stage! The Flamingos continually kibitzed with one another during their dance while the "socks in the shape of a flamingo head" on their hands, playfully pecked and nibbled one another.
Throughout the scenes, the White Rabbit would appear with quick movements, as it hopped, fidgeted with its ears and look to and fro while searching where else to dart. All characters were awesomely costumed; greatly choreographed and great entertainment was enjoyed by all in our little Covington auditorium. The girls sat on the edge of their seats throughout the production.
As most classics go, Alice enjoyed Wonderland, woke up from her dream and everybody lived happily ever after. Now if you need any more information on the production, go ask Charlotte as it made a great impression on her and now she would like to join the realm of readers enthralled with the escapades of Alice in Wonderland.
Christy A. Lassiter writes a society column for The Covington News. She can be reached at (770) 786-2470.