Wonder Land Musical This Weekend At Monbleau Hall

by William F. Galvin

HARWICH PORT – Alice will be following the White Rabbit down that hole this weekend, opening up a “Wonder Land” of delight and entertainment for audiences at Monbleau Hall in the Pilgrim Congregational Church.

The chamber of commerce is putting on a musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland,” produced and directed by Tristan DiVincenzo, familiar to many who saw the immersive production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” “A Dickens of A Christmas,” in Harwich Center last December.

“The musical is the centerpiece of a month-long marketing campaign — ‘Harwich Is A Wonderland’ — designed to jumpstart the season by bringing the arts and businesses together,” said Cyndi Williams, the chamber’s executive director.

The musical will be performed Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m.

Williams, who approached DiVincenzo again for this production, said he has adapted the classic Victorian children’s novel for the Monbleau Hall stage. This is a family friendly musical production that explores the “curiouser and curiouser” story of the now-famous Alice, who takes a tumble down a rabbit hole into the wonderfully wacky world of Wonderland, she said.

“It’s all music, and it’s faithful to the novel,” DiVincenzo said of the production. “It’s been so much fun, an absolute blast. The kids are so smart. It’s absolutely entertaining for all ages.”

There’s the “ever-changing” Alice (portrayed by four actors) who encounters all of the favorite characters, including the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Blue Caterpillar, Humpty Dumpty, the Queen of Hearts and others who help her on her epic journey to self-discovery. The four Alices are played by Gemma McBridge, Grace Olah, Laylah Crowley and Shea McSherry.

“You ask why four Alices,” DiVincenzo said. “She’s always changing in every scene. That’s why she is so appealing. There are so many guises and personalities in any given moment.”

DiVincenzo has lived on the Cape since 1990, but he has worked in theater and film all over the world. He attended a prestigious dance school in New York when he was in college and in his second year was cast in his first film.

The cast he has assembled for “Wonder Land” is made up mostly of kids and adults he has worked with on the Cape over the past 30 years in theaters in Harwich, Dennis, Barnstable, Hyannis and Sandwich, said DiVincenzo. It’s been a privilege to work with this cast on this production, he said.

“Whether you have read the book a hundred times, seen all the movies, or this is your first experience with Alice, you’ll fall in love with this heart-warming voyage of unbounded curiosity, mad adventure, and the pure genius imagination of Lewis Carroll,” DiVincenzo said.

“I am always going down rabbit holes and bringing back up new and fun ways to market our members and community,” Williams said. “Alice’s unending curious nature and sense of adventure is encouragement for us all, whether we are children or adults. Our creative team has developed a musical review that reminds us of that message.”

This musical adventure features scenic and projection designs by DiVincenzo, music arrangement by Taylor Shechet, choreography by Chelsey Jo Brown and costume design by Mindy Harrington.

Tickets can be purchased at Harwichcc.com/Wonderland, or by calling 508-430-1165. Tickets start at $20.