The new Broadway musical “Wonderland,” which offers a contemporary variation on Lewis Carroll classic children’s literature, opened April 17 at the Marquis Theatre. Director Gregory Boyd and lyricist Jack Murphy co-wrote the book, and Frank Wildhorn composed the pop-driven score.
In this “Wonderland,” Alice (Janet Dacal) is a schoolteacher in Queens with frustrated dreams of becoming a children’s author. Tensions also run high at home, where Alice has rocky relationships with her estranged husband and their daughter Chloe (Carly Rose Sonenclar).
But when Alice tumbles down her apartment’s elevator shaft, she finds herself (literally and figuratively) in Wonderland. Along the way, she encounters the Caterpillar (E. Clayton Cornelious), El Gato (Jose Llana as a Latino Cheshire Cat), the White Rabbit (Edward Staudenmayer) and the White Knight (Darren Ritchie), all while battling the Queen of Hearts (Karen Mason) and the Mad Hatter (Kate Shindle).
The musical lands on Broadway by way of earlier tryouts in Tampa Bay (2009) and Houston (2010). Previews began March 21 at the 1,612-seat Marquis, where audience capacity ranged from a first-week high of 94 percent down to just 79 percent during the week ending April 10.
Ticketed through Ticketmaster.com, regular pricing options range from $56.75 to $139.75, with premium tickets set from $188 to $213, including fees. Despite a weekly potential of $1.4 million, “Wonderland’s” total gross during its first three weeks of previews was just $1.5 million, according to the Broadway League.
“Wonderland” runs two hours and 20 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. The open-ended schedule features evening performances on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are staged 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The Marquis Theatre is located at 1535 Broadway, New York, NY. More scheduling and ticketing details for “Wonderland” can be found on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Wonderland”
|Variety||Steve Suskin||“Similarly problematic musicals have been lifted by the ministrations of the cast, but there is little here that is compelling.”|
|New York Times||Charles Isherwood||“…a contemporary parable about reconnecting with your inner child and other watery truisms of the self-help industrial complex.”|
|TheaterMania||Andy Propst||“Unlike [Lewis Carroll’s] deliberately crafted classics, there’s nothing precise or controlled about this show’s randomness.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“The actors all work hard and sing well, but they don’t stand a chance amid this witless chaos.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“There’s potential to make the story here sing, but both its pop score and pop psychology end up sounding trite.”|
|New York Magazine||Scott Brown||“‘Wonderland’ is the worst kind of nonsense, the sort that attempts little and achieves less.”|