Westwood Middle School presents ‘unique’ classic ‘Alice Jr.’

Larger than life and silly characters are at the center of Westwood Middle School’s spring play Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” Add fun into the equation.

 Westwood Middle School presents two performances of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” next week.
Westwood Middle School presents two performances of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” next week.

The musical is based on Lewis Carroll’s classic story.

“It’s a very unique show all the way around,” said Amy Howard, who directs with teacher Julie Fahey.

The fantasy begins with Alice falling asleep. The remainder of the story takes place in a dream where Alice meets the usual cast of characters – the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, King and Queen of Hearts and, of course, the White Rabbit.

Among familiar tunes are “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “I’m Late” and the title song “Alice in Wonderland.”

Music and lyrics are by Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard, Oliver Wallace, Cy Coban, Allie Wrubel, Ray Gilbert, Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston. The music for this production is adapted and arranged with additional music and lyrics by Bryan Louiselle. The book is adapted by David Simpatico, who wrote additional song lyrics.

The hour-long show is based on the 1951 “Disney Alice in Wonderland” movie and the novels “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” and Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

Howard likes that the show doesn’t center on a main character. Rather, it gives more students a chance to hone their acting chops. Alice, for instance, is played by three students in the roles of Tall Alice, Small Alice and Alice.

“Many kids get a chance to shine,” Howard said. Also, more students get their shot at solos, she said.

Nearly 50 students make up the cast and crew. The cast has been rehearsing three nights a week since January.

And what would a play be without serving up a lesson or two?

Alice, who longed for adventures away from home, soon realizes she’s thankful for what she has.

“This is a show that would be entertaining for families and small kids,” Howard said. “It’s a nice little escape.”

Westwood Middle School presents Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” Tuesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 4. 7 p.m. Adults $3, students and seniors $1. 711 91st Ave. N.E., Blaine. Tickets available at door.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]