Last night was a first for me. I have never walked out of a ballet before…

I was so looking forward to seeing Alice in Wonderland. What a disappointment! We had great seats, the theater was nearly full and when the curtain went up and the music came on, my heart sank.

It was the worst canned music with terrible sound. It detracted so much from the entire production, that I felt physically ill. Somehow, I was expecting the music to be similar to The Nutcracker.

Wrong. It was like nothing I have ever heard before. Very annoying, with no particular tune or melody of any sort.

The dancing was good, for the primary dancers from the Washington ballet. The chorus was made up of local ballet ‘talent’ and most of the dancers were not very talented.

The children were cute and it reminded me of some grade school productions I used to go to when my daughters began their dance lessons. The best part was the costumes.

The girl who played the part of Alice was Japanese, however she wore a blonde wig and so she ‘looked’ the part. She was extremely tiny. Standing next to the other women dancers she looked like a child.

Her ballet was excellent, but there was so much running around on the stage, some of the numbers seemed endless. Many of the numbers went on for what seemed like an awfully long time.

I looked over at Peter and he was being very polite, but I could tell he was not thrilled with this. He did say, the lighting was excellent. This coming from a professional photographer was a big compliment.

I thought some of the stage effects were clever, such as making Alice look big or small, depending on the size of the doors entering Wonderland.

But mostly, the sets didn’t look as good as many high school productions I remember from Punahou school. Very stark, empty stage with a few windows hanging in midair, or some stiff looking tree trunks painted to look like a forest.

This entire production will not win any awards for staging, musical score or direction. The best number was when the catapillar turned into a butterfly.

Finally after the Mad Hatter Tea Party, (with no tea and no cups), there was Intermission. I turned to him and said, “Do you want to leave?” And we did.

So did the people sitting next to us.

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