by Matt Ritchey
Dorothy and Alice is Aeriform Arts‘s first Fringe show and it’s a hell of a debut!
It features a story about Dorothy moving to a new town and meeting Alice on the playground of her new school, but it’s when the dialogue ends that the show comes alive.
Expert aerial artists dangle, fly, swoop and SLIDE above and past you in some of the best costumes at this year’s Fringe to extremely cool music while telling the story or the character connections between Alice, Dorothy, Toto, the Wicked Witch, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, Glinda…. it’s a whirlwind of gorgeous movement, impressive acrobatics, and gorgeously lit scenes (by way of Brandon Baruch, no surprise).
The production has also nailed the design elements (including props like the well-crafted bottle of Drink Me and the Eat Me sign) perfectly.
The only thing that clunks in this soaring piece is the script, a ten minute ditty by Itamar Moses. The idea is certainly cute, but choreographer and director Colleen Dunleap has done such amazing wordless storytelling with her flawless cast that the moments we stop to hear dialogue, it feels like a house fell on us. (Yes, I went there. Deal with it.) All of the originality of the piece is stifled by a merely “cute” script not fit for the talented actresses who perform it. But as a jumping-off point for an amazing show, it’s well worth it!
I hope this isn’t the last storytelling performance Aeriform Arts does at Fringe. I see amazing things ahead. GO! GO! GO! GO!!!!!