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Friday, April 24 2015 20:14

Preview: WONDERLAND, ALICE'S ROCK & ROLL ADVENTURE - The New Production from Chicago Children's Theatre

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ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been reimagined with a rock and roll spin, and it's happened in Chicago. Director Rachael Rockwell and Music Director Michael Mahler have brought to life Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS as a new tale starring a pair of young stars - Isabelle Roberts and Ariana Burks - who will alternate performances as Alice. Performances run through May 24 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago), with tickets available through the Chicago Children's Theatre website. Details below...

2 wonder alices
Ariana Burks and Isabelle Roberts | Photo: Joe Mazza, Brave Lux

How can you march to the beat of your own drummer when you're still writing the song? Everyone's search for one's authentic self is at the heart of Wonderland - book by Rachel Rockwell and Lewis Carroll, music by Michael Mahler, lyrics by Michael Mahler and Rachel Rockwell, directed by Rachel Rockwell.

"In our version of the Alice story, Alice is much more of an active protagonist. We're talking girl power here, empowering girls, in particular, to boldly discover their true selves. Plus, Michael's score is just awesome. He is borrowing from all sorts of classic rock styles, everything from hints of Heart, Joan Jett, Oingo Boingo and Tenacious D, to Queen and the Beatles. Rock concert meets live theater as Alice reflects the vulnerabilities of all kids, and then confidently finds her own inner voice."Rachel Rockwell, Director
CCT Wonderland IRoberts 1
Photo: Charles Osgood

Carroll's beloved, poetic tale of self-actualization is brought to life by a cast of actor/musicians who create an eclectic, live rock soundtrack as 7-1/2 year-old Alice searches for her own inner musical voice. Along the way, Alice faces challenges and fears, but meets the ultimate test in the form of the Jabberwocky, an insidious monster made of up of the dark thoughts and self-doubt that lurks inside of us all. In learning to believe in the impossible, Alice learns to believe in herself. Throughout her journey, the actors surround Alice in a live musical tapestry ranging from classic rock to punk to ska and even a little bit of Bollywood.

CCT Wonderland ABurks 1
Photo | Charles Osgood 
Would you like to know more? http://chicagochildrenstheatre.org/wonderland
James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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