It’s a bright, sunny fall afternoon. You’ve just taken a step off the purple line to arrive at Main St. in downtown Evanston. You take a look around. There’s the Starbucks on the corner, the taco place, the clothing boutique, and...a white rabbit? In Upended’s production of ALICE we embark on a trip following our fluffy tailed guide down the proverbial rabbit hole.
Upended Takes Us Through Wonderland
The original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published more than 150 years ago. There’s a good chance no one would have guessed in 2018 a company would place the story north of Chicago. Upended has quite literally given us an upended, imaginative re-telling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
To start, we gather at a local State Farm office, enjoying original, Alice themed art pieces by members of the company. Suddenly, a door opens. Out pops our guide clad in a red lace romper, oversized sunglasses, and very tall rabbit ears. Miffy is our rabbit guide for this afternoon, though depending on your tour group you might meet a Post-It Rabbit, a French Rabbit, or even a Secret-Agent Rabbit. Regardless, your adventure into Wonderland awaits.
All the Story Classics
Whether you’re a fan of the original book or the Disney film, ALICE visits all the favorite characters in a variety of different places around the intersection of Main St. and Chicago Ave. We’re taken down the rabbit hole into Sketchbook brewings basement where we meet a managerial mouse and bird with a penchant for tangential monologues.
As you make your way around the town, you might find a song-composing cat or find yourself in school hoping for good marks. But, be very careful about white roses though, you wouldn’t want to lose your head to the Queen.
Of course a visit to Wonderland couldn’t possibly be complete without a mad tea party and a singing lobster as well!
The Magic and Ambience of Wonderland
These and many other wonders and characters in our Chicago Wonderland never let the energy falter or make you doubt you’re following a white rabbit further and further into the world of ALICE.
It feels like you can’t stop paying attention for a moment as you walk from one destination to another. You might miss a few street extras that keep the spirit of the world alive as you move from chapter to chapter.
ALICE is a fun experiential theatre production that gets you out to experience perhaps previously unexplored corners of the Evanston community. It’s a great pick for those who are looking for an out of the box theatre experience. It’s also family friendly, so bring your kids out for a fun afternoon. However, if you’re not a fan of experiential theatre or audience involvement, this one might not be for you.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
The Factory, Mudlark Theater, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater, ShowParty, singer/ songwriter Naomi Ashley, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Logan Kibens, and current and former ensemble members of The Neo-Futurists, Theatre Oobleck, Barrel of Monkeys, and Wildclaw Theater, including David Kodeski, Corrbette Pasko, Laura McKenzie, Josh Zagoren, and Dina Walters.
Runs Saturdays and Sundays through October 21
Tours begin at 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., & 2 p.m.
Meet at LaCapra State Farm office
829 Chicago AVe.
$25 for single tickets; $17 for students and seniors with ID
Space is limited so advance purchase is highly recommended. Tickets can be purchased through Upended Productions website www.UpEndedProductions.com
All Photos by Jenn-Anne Gledhill
About the Author
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski