Alice in Chinatown is a sultry interpretation of a children’s classic

The ladies of the Cherry Blossom Cabaret have Honolulu buzzing about their latest venture into Wonderland. Photo from www.the808scenezine.com

HONOLULU—Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice in Wonderland gets a very adult treatment with Cherry Blossom Cabaret’s (CBC) production of Alice in Chinatown. Performing at Mark’s Garage, the ladies of CBC have created a visually compelling interpretation of the tale replete with sophisticated staging and costuming, and a soundtrack that complements artistically inspired choreography.

More than a striptease act, for which CBC has become widely known and critically acclaimed, Alice in Chinatown is a full theatrical production that played to full houses last weekend and, surely, will again this weekend. I managed to tuck into the press night opening under the auspices of journalism, presumably because, nowadays, anyone with a smart phone can be considered a journalist. It was a capacity crowd consisting of news media representatives and owner-operators of a number of popular Chinatown businesses. It was a cheerful and almost giddy crowd.

Not just a night of attractive women removing their clothes, the show offers an insightful look into nightlife in Chinatown. With playful references to places like SoHo and Bar 35, anyone who spends time in Chinatown will be able to relate to the inside jokes and lucid commentary (if not entirely hypnotized by the production itself). It is a lurid, but certainly valid, take on the theme.

Of particular note are the performances of the White Rabbit and the Red Queen (performed brazenly by Tiva Lunga). Alice herself is a sultry portrait of a Chinatown ingenue—charmingly naive and girlish. The supporting cast is energetic and convincing, and the show is much more a theatrical experience than a parade of pasties and lace.

The shows for Friday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. are sold out. Tickets are still available online for $15 at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/105043 for the shows on Sunday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.hawaiiartsalliance.org/index.php/marks and http://www.cherryblossomcabaret.

 

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