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The Music Box Theater

2623 Colquitt
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Theaters

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby

Stages Repertory Theatre

3201 Allen Parkway
Houston, TX 77019

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: River Oaks

Theatre Suburbia

4106 Way Out W. Drive
Houston, TX 77092

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: Outer Loop - NW

Jewish Community Center

5601 S. Braeswood
Houston, TX 77096

Category: Art Galleries

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Wonderland! The Misadventures of a Girl Named Alice Don't tell anyone that I had a good time at a musical for children, but the truth is I did — and so will you. The book for Wonderland! is by James DeVita and the music by Bill Francoeur, and it is very definitely for adults as well as children. The courageous Dionysus Theatre's production of Wonderland! The Misadventures of a Girl Named Alice ranges from tacky to professional, with a lot of stops in between. The professional part is due largely to Erika Brunson, who plays the Red Queen and Tweedle-Dum with great comic timing and expressive grace. Less experienced but wonderfully talented Scott Florence is hopeless as the Red King (too young and enthusiastic for a regal air), but he captivates as a train conductor who also sells and takes tickets, and has a nice voice in the musical number "Choo Choo." And he floored me as a defeated Red Knight — yes, I was the patron who couldn't stop laughing — sorry! Renee Miura nails Tweedle-Dee, and she and Brunson are great as a song-and dance team. Ben Grafton, the talented musical director, does double duty as Humpty-Dumpty, morphing into a rock star and coming close to stealing the show. Noriann Doguim plays Alice, and she has the requisite looks and youth, but I would have liked a bit more spunk and authority. Una Lau is weak as the White Queen, but comes to life in her downstage song. Joshua Sims dances well and has a good voice — and a deft hand with a magic glove — but he can barely be heard over the music. Cherie Samuel handles the choreography, and much of it is very good indeed. Given a necessarily limited budget, Claremarie Verheyen's costumes are inventive, but range from merely tacky to "you've got to be kidding." I did admire the Dixie Chicken costumes, but wish I hadn't seen the Lion and the Unicorn. This extravaganza has an amateur feel to it in most of the large ensemble numbers, but when the individual artists are given their chance to shine, they deliver compellingly. The direction is by Raymond A. Deeb, who must have had his hands full with such a large cast, but his perseverance has created flawed but nonetheless admirable entertainment, with nuggets of gold. Through June 30. Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 713-728-0041. — JT

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