In a world of ‘prequels’, ‘sequels’ and other timeline jumps, it’s nice to see a play where the original gets a nod, but the new production stands on its own. It’s even nicer to see when that production is locally written and staged. Such was the Stryker Local Schools presentation of Victoria Wisniewski’s ‘Alix in Wonderland’, which was staged at the school on November 4, 5 and 6.
Similarities to the original are obvious, but those similarities are quickly adapted into the new production with cleverly placed twists to the plot. Portrayed by Haley Doehrmann, Alice, the Queen of Wonderland, has been captured by the nasty Spade King, played quite well by Cody Moser. With the help of the help of a human boy, the restaurant dishwasher turned self-professed master chef named Alix (portrayed by Sterling Wisniewski), all of Wonderland rallies to rescue their queen. Alix is more than insecure though, and isn’t sure how he is equipped to save the Queen. With the help of Chex the cat (portrayed by McKenna Louys) and Whitney (the white rabbit), and with the sage advice of the caterpillar (portrayed by Izayuh Littin), Alix battles his own insecurities to find the necessary magic to defeat the Spade King and rescue Queen Alice.
Harnessing the fortitude needed to follow the advice of the caterpillar, Alix cooks up a superior soup to that of the Pepper Chef (portrayed by Logan White). For that, the Duchess (portrayed by Morgan Rupp) rewards him with the magical goodies needed to bribe the pilfering duo of Dee and Dum (portrayed by Gabby Ramon and Sage Woolace), and get back the keys that they swiped from Chex. With his confidence growing, Alix discovers that the necessary magic to free Alice has been stashed inside the clock of Whitney, unbeknown to the rabbit. Using that magic, the Spade King is defeated, Queen Alice is freed, and she bestows upon him the title of master chef of the domain. The Spade King is banished from Wonderland, and is forced to take up the old occupation of Alix…that of restaurant dishwasher.
The production was well presented, and the actors, from elementary on up through the high school levels, all turned in exemplary performances. This spin on the original, with all of its twists, has the ability to stand on its own as a quality play, and hopefully it will not be limited to only three performances.
Timothy Kays can be reached at email@example.com