Follow the rabbit!

Queens Theatre hosts a bookworm-friendly adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” twice on Sunday, Feb. 9. The first show is at 1 p.m. The second one, scheduled for 4 p.m., will be presented in a pleasant way for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other sensory, social and cognitive disabilities.

Offered by the Montreal-based Tout à Trac troupe, this version begins with Alice hiding in her father’s library because she would rather play than do homework. A white, novel-eating rabbit appears, and Alice chases it into Wonderland, a wacky world where rabbits are always late, arguments lead to friendships and puppets pop up from behind bookshelves. She meets the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee, Tweedledum and other characters, such as a hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Originally written in French, the script is mostly faithful to the original story’s zaniness as Alice makes decisions, learns from experiences, and transitions from childhood through adolescence. The main difference is the lack of a garden. The Queens Theatre stage is full of books whose pages open doors to adventures in an attempt to promote the wonders of reading.

Ticket prices run from $13 to $15. The play lasts about an hour, and it’s recommended for children older than 6 years of age.

Tout à Trac has been producing and touring children’s shows in French and English since 1998. It has performed “Alice in Wonderland” roughly 500 times throughout the United States, Canada, Asia and the Middle East. Its current repertoire includes “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Pinocchio” and “The Adventures of Baron Münchausen.”

British mathematician-deacon-author Lewis Carroll (a pseudonym for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) wrote “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” in 1865. Queen Victoria was one of its first readers. Since then, the fairy tale has been translated into an estimated 174 languages and adapted for stage, film, television, animation, comic books and even video games. Many of the main characters (i.e. Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts) are recognized outside of Wonderland and some phrases (i.e. “down the rabbit-hole,” “mad tea-party”) are common in the English lexicon.

Queens Theatre is at 14 United Nations Ave. S. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. A public parking lot is nearby, and a free shuttle runs between the facility and the Mets-Willets Point station on the 7 line before and after productions.

Images: Marc-Antoine Duhaime/Tour à Trac


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