By Terri Giannoutsos and Heather McClendon
Directed by Terri Giannoutsos
G.O.A.T. Late Night series
Nothing is harder or more seductive to a writer than adapting a classic public domain novel. Alice in Wonderland is doubly hard, but its combination of surrealism and great costuming opportunities makes it a perennial favorite. This mercifully short adaptation falls into all the traps – weak character development, stilted use of profanity, and blunt transitions. We open with Maryann / Alice (Heather McClendon) house sitting Mom’s (Cynthia McClendon) goldfish on Halloween. An older woman in search of sex, she’s got a date with the pool boy that turns the stomachs of Maryann and her younger brother Harold (Trevor Fraser). An impromptu party is in the works, and Maryann invites her best friend Kat (Tara Corliss) who brings her loser boyfreind Dumbass (Rob DelMedico) who brings his dealer 7 (Giannoutsos) who brings the rest of the plot. Alice is drugged by suave Mad Hatter (Viet Nguyen) and we get the mandatory hallucinations until mom returns from her date. MaryAnn then does the only non surreal thing in this show – she knees Mad Hatter, and kicks him in the butt, and throws him out her zero tolerance house. No word on Mom’s date, but she had a half smile. Go Girl.
Ok, there are some serious script issues, but you have to love the dedicated work of the cast to make this show work. Rob Delmedico did some of his best work here – he really sold DumbAss, and I wanted him to have a real name, somewhere, somehow. Tara Corless as Kat captured the slutty sexiness of Maryann’s best friend. Why they are friends at all is a mystery, Maryann has nothing nice to say about her. Maryann seemed pretty right wing even under the influence of 3 rufies and a shot of scotch. My understanding is that this script has been through more than few revisions, and a few more might help it out, but it has a way’s to go. Surrealism without underling internal logic is just silliness, and even silliness was lacking tonight.
For more information on Greater Orlando Actor’s Theatre, please visit http://http://www.goatgroup.com/