The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title Dorothy Meets Alice or The Wizard of Wonderland
Organization Sutter Street Theatre
Date(s) of show October 10 - November 1, 2015
Reviewer Gerry Camp
Review Judson (Paul Stamas) is in trouble. It’s almost bedtime and he just remembered he needs to write a book report for school tomorrow. He thinks he can solve his problem by watching a video of “The Wizard of Oz,” but his babysitters (Jessica and Kaitlyn Berry) make him turn off the television. He grabs a book, “Alice in Wonderland,” from his sister’s room and dives under the covers with a flashlight. Soon, of course, his eyes close, and he finds himself in the Tulgey Wood with signs pointing toward Oz, on his left, and Wonderland on his right.

His babysitters, now Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, played by identical twins, narrate Judson’s adventures as he meets Dorothy (Hannah Vaccaro), who is looking for her dog Toto, and Alice (Hannah Hurst), who is chasing an elegantly dressed White Rabbit.

And so begins the meeting of the two most famous girls in children’s literature. This is the setup for the wonderful family show Dorothy Meets Alice or The Wizard of Wonderland playing weekends through November 1 at Sutter Street Theatre. The play by Joseph Robinette (enhanced by director Mike Jimena) features the unique personalities of all the favorite characters from both stories.

Dorothy is threatened by the Wicked Witch, who wants her red slippers, and Alice is being pursued by the Red Queen to get the magic potion that can make Alice tiny. The villains, played by Eileen Beaver and Connie Mockenhaupt, decide to team up to fulfill their wishes.

Protecting the girls are mixed pairs from both stories. The Tin Man (John Hopkins) teams up with the Doormice (Jonanthan Matta and Ruby McDonald); the Scarecrow (Cassie Hamilton) and the White Rabbit (Natalie Collins) join forces; and the Cowardly Lion (Benjamin Matta) and the Mad Hatter (Joshua Matta) become partners. The biggest threat comes from the horrible beast, the Jabberwock, created by the two villains.

It is difficult, with such a huge cast (counting Munchkins, Playing Cards, and Flying Monkeys the cast numbers twenty-six) to single out individuals, but the two lead girls are both, well, wonderful, and the always amazing Matta brothers never fail to delight. Beaver and Mockenhaupt, you may remember them as the two dueling movie stars in last year’s Legends, nearly steal the show as this year’s dueling (with light sabers!) evil ones. But there isn’t a weak performance in the cast.

In addition to playing the Witch, Eileen Beaver created the colorful costumes — twenty-six of them, all amazing — as she always does at Sutter Street. Especially striking are the outfits for the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Scarecrow, but all are perfect.

So who is the Wizard of Wonderland? You’ll find out at the end of the show. And I urge you to bring the whole family for a wonder-full afternoon. Of all the Family Series shows at Sutter Street this season, Dorothy Meets Alice may be the most fun of all.

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