This is a wild ride in more ways than one. Adapter-director David Catlin takes full advantage of poetic license, ranging freely through both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The result is a tumbling kaleidoscope of characters: the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Red and White Queens, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the March Hare, the Dormouse, and more. The constants are Alice, of course, and Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll/the White Knight. Like the original 2005 production, this one features lots of rough-and-tumble physical comedy and aerial feats on trapeze and hanging ropes. The show is perfect for both adults and kids, even little ones (one four-year-old was beside herself at the performance I saw), because Catlin draws on Dodgson's wordplay and philosophical concerns but adds humor suitable for children. Lawrence E. DiStasi and Lauren Hirte are marvelous once again as Dodgson and Alice; Anthony Fleming III also returns, and Kevin Douglas and Jesse Perez fill in the vacated parts nicely. a Through 8/12: Tue 6:30 PM, Wed 7 PM, Thu 6:30 PM, Fri 7 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665, $20-$58. --Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Michael Brosilow.