‘Alice in Wonderland, Jr.’ opens Friday at The Grand
by Marie Nesmith
Oct 30, 2013 | 707 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.,” The Grand Youth Theatre will provide an updated twist to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.

“This is a junior version of the full-length musical, so everything’s just a little bit different,” said Kristy Montgomery, director of “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” “The music is the same tune that you’re familiar with from the Disney movie but they’ve been updated. So there’s different decades kind of sampled. Then we also have a really unique cast. We do have three different Alices. There’s a medium-sized Alice, who’s kind of the main Alice. But then we have a small Alice and a tall Alice. So when she drinks the potion and gets larger and when she gets smaller, a new Alice takes the place.

“Then we also have three Cheshire Cats. They are not interchangeable. They all just split the lines. There’s just three of them, which sometimes happens in these junior shows. We also have a White Rabbit. We have a Caterpillar. We have the traditional characters, but everything’s just a little bit different than you might expect.”

To be presented at The Grand Theatre — 7 N. Wall St. in Cartersville — “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Some of the actors and actresses who will be portraying the musical’s key roles will include Samantha Sims as regular-sized Alice; Ella Smith as Small Alice, Olivia Smith as Tall Alice; Derrick Chapman, Caroline Rhodes and Noah Ragus as The Cheshire Cat; Sydney Roberts as Alice’s sister Mathilda; Alex Gilbert as White Rabbit; Jessica Branton and Madison Ricci as Timekeepers; Ansley Fain as The Caterpillar; Autumn Townsend as The Mad Hatter; Maxxi Bryant as The Queen of Hearts; and Abby Colston and Tyler Rawlins as the Tweedles. Other cast members will be Kevin Barnhart, Elena Bern, Christina Cremers, Jonah Gendron, Carmen Jordan, Lindsey Johnson, Molly Layne, Jorie Lookenott, Jenna Lookenott, True Lookenott, Reece McCamy, Molly Miller, Magdalena Ramirez, Zach Ramirez, Grace Rhodes, Camille Waddell, Lydia Wiedetz and Sarah Wiedetz.

“I’ve been blessed with some extremely talented actors and actresses,” Montgomery said. “They range from about 9 to 18, so it’s a very wide range of ages.

“They blow me away every single rehearsal because they are just so enthusiastic and they’re so unafraid to be absolutely ridiculous, which is what you kind of need for something like this. ... So yes, they’re amazing.”

The upcoming Grand Youth Theatre presentation will be an example of The Grand Theatre’s effort to introduce youth to the arts and foster their acting abilities.

“Every fall The Grand Theatre puts on a show with young actors,” said Terri Cox, program director for The Grand Theatre. “We’ve been doing this for about 10 years now. Typically, it’s an age range between 7 and 18 ... We have an open audition to any young people in the community who would like to participate. This year, we had about 75 students audition and there’s 33 roles in the show.

“We like to provide opportunities for young people to participate in the arts. We have the facilities that lend themselves to a big musical show, so that’s usually the type of play that we present. [It] is part of our mission to give young people in our community an opportunity to develop their artistic talents.”

Tickets for “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” can be purchased in advance for $12 for adults and $7 for students. At the door, tickets will cost $15 for adults and $10 for students.

For more information or to obtain tickets, call 770-386-7343 or visit The Grand Theatre ticket office Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 5 p.m.