Alice at the Palace Broadway Theatre Archive
Meryl Streep (Actor), Betty Aberlin (Actor), Emile Ardolino (Director)
Broadway Musicals DVD
BM01 Broadway Musicals DVD - Meryl Streep (Actor), Betty Aberlin (Actor), Emile Ardolino (Director) - Alice at the Palace Broadway Theatre Archive - Broadway Musicals DVD - Meryl Streep displays the talent that would soon make her a movie star in Alice at the Palace, a musical theater adaptation by Elizabeth Swados of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Dressed in pink overalls, Streep sings and dances through such famous scenes as the Mad Tea Party and playing croquet with the Queen of Hearts. This production, from the early 1980s, lies somewhere between Hair and Into the Woods. The music ranges across a variety of styles (from calypso to barbershop quartet) and video manipulations enhance the inventive physical staging, but it's Streep that will carry you through--her sound effects as Alice changes size (after drinking from a bottle labeled Drink Me) are delightful, capturing both a childlike imagination and the fluid reality of theater. Alice at the Palace features several other recognizable faces, including Mark Linn-Baker (My Favorite Year) and dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen. Oscar winner Meryl Streep stars in this delightful music hall version of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. Also starring Emmy winner Debbie Allen. Alice at the Palace is low on grand theatrical gimmicks and high on incredible talent, songs, acting, and humor. It's a delight for both adults and children. I give it two thumbs up and five stars out of five for sheer entertainment. You'll be singing the songs for years afterwards....my family did. Featuring a score and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados, the production has everything, its split second timing and quick cuts from one scene to another keeping the viewer constantly entertained with changing action and moods. Stunning to watch, the show features as the caterpillar, a tower of actors who wave their arms as legs, while Richard Cox (who also plays the March Hare) sings to Alice with a voice that sounds like something from the Casbah. Alice's solo, Beautiful Soup, a lovely ballad with the ensemble, changes the mood, and Rodney Hudson's next scene, as the Cheshire Cat, changes it yet again. Hudson is particularly memorable, varying his singing style from rap to rock, and his dance style from a softshoe to the buck-and-wing. Debbie Allen as the Queen of Hearts plays the Queen as a dancehall floozy, with red dress and slit skirt, dancing with complete abandon. It was a pleasure seeing Streep and so many other talented performers at their best -and, not incidentally, starring in a performance of Alice that goes beyond what Lewis Carroll may have had in mind - with the potential to reach a whole new generation of viewers. Streep is a wonder, absolutely chameleon-like in her ability to change moods in the twinkling of an eye, from pouting child to spunky adolescent.
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