Alice wasn’t the only one to learn a lesson in Wonderland! This Panto serves enough lesson for everyone
This holiday treat gave me all the tingles and feels
Holy Red Queen Lip Sync Burn The House Down, the cast of People’s Light PANTO production of Alice in Wonderland, left NOTHING backstage – surpassing my wildest expectations.
A bit of jargon you’ll need to understand this review:
Panto: is a type of theatrical performance where everything is maxxxed out – the costumes are bigger and brighter f the audience is encouraged to verbally participate and there’s always candy and a messy scene.
Panto theatre also typically includes a guide character of sorts – think Narrator – a performer who moves the story along!
When I found out award winner Eric Jaffe was taking on the role of the guide (aka the Cheshire Cat) – I knew I had to hop on out to Malvern and check out the production.
First a shout out to the Brick and Brew Tavern. This is a bourbon restaurant, matched the energy and tastiness of any city based restaurant. I highly recommend getting the fried pickles
Now, back to the show, it’s a colorful, retelling, a story you think you know, but with much more tangible life lessons, and although the show is geared towards middle school audiences, the friend group, I went with, was in silent tears by the end, as we all took away lessons from The protagonist Alyce. I do need to take a minute to shout out. Her vocal ability was awe-inspiring.
Speaking of lessons, and while there were many to be learned, the one that stuck out most for all of us, was that it’s OK to be in the middle… often we are rushing towards a finish line for pushing to celebrate and accomplishment, or rushing to grow up, or get past feelings – but really we have to get to celebrate all the small steps along the way
With Ru Paul references, and pop culture lyrics galore, this show is perfect for people of all ages
Eric Jaffe served as Drag and Generous representation consultant – they had the duty and honor of educating the people of the theatre on gender roles, and proper verbiage – they even got to host a full day of training for the theater staff and cast!
Reception to the show has been positive, Jaffee cites a moment in the show that struck close to home for them – the Cheshire Cat recounts a story of a time they were made fun of for having their nails painted – ‘cats’ don’t paint their nails said the townsmen. Without Eric having to finish the bit on stage, a child in the audience yelled, “anyone can paint their nails!”
Truly giving me (and hopefully everyone in the audience) hope.
The set was clean and sharp and allowed for some imaginative theatre magic.
I often have a gripe with smaller theatre ability to balance sound – often losing lyrics – but that was not the case at People’s Light, the audio was blended beautifully
I’ll be visiting the Malvern area (and people’s light more frequently – their level of professionalism and inclusion is astounding!