Work, bus ride, tickets to Wonderland, late bus home. I won't get another chance to post anything else until it's technically tomorrow. I'm seeing Wonderland. A New Alice. A New Musical (yes, that's still the full title) tonight. It opens on Sunday, so it's pretty much frozen* at this point. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Frank Wildhorn composed the show. He's responsible for Jekyll and Hyde and Dracula (one of my favorite Broadway shows), but also for The Civil War and The Scarlet Pimpernell. You never know which Wildhorn you'll get.
Well, with this show you do. Wonderland is pop music Wildhorn. Ballads, dance tunes, grooves, and anthems in all different genres. The Cheshire Cat--now named El Gato--gets a Santana-esque latin fusion. The Queen of Hearts gets almost a vaudeville/Tin Pan Alley feel. The White Knight is boy band music. And The Mad Hatter is cutting diva belting**.
There are two distinct possibilities for Wonderland after it opens. If the critics hate it as much as the early preview audiences with theater knowledge did, it'll shutter sometime between Sunday night and the Tony Awards. If the critics embrace it as the most family friendly musical on Broadway, designed as escapist entertainment and not high art, it could have a long healthy run. I mean, it's a musical based on Alice in Wonderland. If you get caught up on the book rather than the journey, you're looking at the wrong things. Bonus points go out to the show for sticking to the book to the point that people are going "what's with the soup?" The soup is everything. I'm personally holding out hope that The Little Crocodile is in there, even if the Jabberwock was cut before Broadway***.
Here's the latest sizzle reel. If you saw the last one, the projections are the same and that's about it. Alice is wearing pants and a button down shirt versus that jersey dress, the league of Alices are in even brighter blue Disney knock-offs, and the effects are even more like a rock concert. The big difference: Fifteen minutes of music. The songs probably work better in context of the show, but some are a lot weaker than others. They can't all be "Through the Looking Glass" or "One Knight," can they?
*frozen: no changes are being made until after the reviews, and hopefully not after, either. The actors have their scripts and songs and critics come in to review the show as it will be for the entirety of its run.
**diva-belting is not a genre. Kate Shindle's just too awesome at this score to ignore.
***as in, someone was playing the Jabberwock as a human like character and that character was cut. Boo.