Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wonderland Closing on Broadway

Filed under: Performing Arts — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:05

wonderland.jpg Despite its successful runs at both the David A. Straz Center in Tampa, Florida and Houston’s Ally Theater, Wonderland, the musical re-telling and modernization of the famous Lewis Carroll story Alice in Wonderland is closing on May 15th at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre. The cast was informed of the show’s fate before the evening performance on Tuesday. The musical marks yet another Broadway flop for composer Frank Wildhorn, who has the dubious distinction of never having a successful show grace the stages of the Great White Way. A national tour of Wonderland is being planned; and despite the millions of dollars lost by investors and producers on the production, Wildhorn already has another show in the pipeline. Bonnie & Clyde is expected to hit the stage by year’s end. I was able to see Wonderland when it premiered at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa in the end of 2009.

The show was riddled with plot holes and I was very surprised to see the two leads, Janet Dacal (Alice) and Darren Ritchie (White Knight) were selected to reprise their roles when the show transitioned to NYC. Both were weak in their performance and demonstrated a less than stellar vocal ability.Although the show underwent drastic rewrites and its score was enriched with new musical numbers, critics were not impressed. According to Playbill:

“Critics did not embrace this modern riff on the fantastical world created by 19th-century British writer Lewis Carroll (”Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” 1865), who makes an appearance in Act Two of the show by Gregory Boyd (book and direction), Frank Wildhorn (music) and Jack Murphy (book and lyrics).”

I have to say that despite its shortcoming, I found Wonderland  to be entertaining. And given the tremendous financial and artistic tasks and risks associated with mounting a Broadway production, I hate to see any musical flop. However, I must admit, I am not surprised in its early closing.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress