Malice in Wonderland: My Review

Categories: Theater

Kate-Shindle-Wonderland_510.jpg
The Broadway musical Wonderland takes a classic children's story (Alice in Wonderland) and tries to make it modern and urban while adding a nudge-nudge jokeyness and some self-help messages.

I liked it better when it was called The Wiz.

In fact, just like that show, Wonderland even has the nerve to include a song called "Home"!

But at least when The Wiz came around, its insouciance was fresh.

In this wack musical, things just seem desperate.

The Cheshire cat is a hip-swiveling Ricky Martin type whose friends call him "Che"; the Mad Hatter is an evil beyotch whose hat is on too tight (see above); the Queen of Hearts has basically been reduced to a bland vaudevillian; and the rabbit...

No, let me not go on.

This show certainly shouldn't.

It's fairly lavish and there's occasional cuteness (like a fun if not exactly urgent spoof of boy bands), but it's mostly just lame and episodic, and without the sociopolitical commentary of the original, it seems to belong more in a theme park than on Broadway.

"Don't you know what Wonderland is, child?" the caterpillar asked Alice at one climactic point.

I certainly knew, but graciously held my tongue.

And it wasn't easy, considering I was desperate to scream at the stage a line from the original:

"Eat me!"

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18 comments
Melinda9
Melinda9

Thank you for suffering through it, so I don't have to.

Pandro
Pandro

"It didn't align with his expectations?"

Yeah, he was expecting a good show.

Rahrah
Rahrah

The Wiz DID have sociopolitical commentary! It transformed the story to the streets and subways etc of NYC and made comments on African American life.

This show turns Alice into a n Oprah episode, as the NY Times noted.

Meghan
Meghan

The other critics didn't like it either.

Roget
Roget

"I have no idea whether this is a good or bad show". Huh?

I guess words like "lame and episodic" and "bland" and "desperate" didn't drive it home for you?

Musto
Musto

PS: I liked E. Clayton Cornelious as the caterpillar and Carly Rose Sonenclar as Alice's daughter. I thought the costumes were inventive and fun. And when Alice first got to Wonderland, it seemed zany, before it all turned.

Chito
Chito

This is a review? I have no idea whether this is a bad or good show, just that it didn't align with the reviewer's expectations and left me wondering if there was supposed to be sociopolitical commentary in "The Wiz." What was the music like? Choreography? Costumes? Acting? Sheesh.

Willieboyk
Willieboyk

I was there the same night as you, and thoroughly enjoyed myself...had a great time, thought the material was so fresh and new and each singer could actually SING and it was a lot of fun. I think we may have seen two different shows...really enjoyed myself!!!

Goshgolly
Goshgolly

All of the people giving this one standing ovations every night want YOU to eat them Michael - nice review! You are on top of it as usual!

Janie
Janie

I took my kids last week & had a blast - they want to go again

Ping
Ping

So if a show gets a standing ovation from dumb tourists, that makes it good? You're insane.

AndreaWms
AndreaWms

Janie, I took my kids and they loved it too! I really don't care what the reviews are - they kids loved it and we had a great time as a family!

Rob in Philly
Rob in Philly

Come on, now. There are plenty of stupid New Yorkers.

Goshgolly
Goshgolly

I didn't take a poll to separate "dumb tourists" from "non-dumb tourists" from "people who live here" - I must be as insane as the reviewer - thanks for pointing that out to me Ping!

Sanders
Sanders

Oh, Lord. The shills have taken over. "I took my kids and they loved it"

"Really? I took my kids and they loved it."

"You're kidding. I took my kids and they loved it too."

All lies--or at the very least all people raising dumb kids.

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