Monday, November 14, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

"Alice, My Dear, You'll Never Become Queen
If You Insist on Turning Your Back on Your Subjects"
Written 14 November, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

Yesterday Sweetie and I took ourselves to see Avatar Repertory Theater's new Play Though the Looking Glass.

The new play, if not quite a reprise of last year's Alice in WonderSLand, is certainly similar territory. The audience was this time transported not down a rabbit hole, but through a looking glass into familiar Lewis Carroll territory.

ARC's technical expertise is heads and shoulders above other Second Life performance troupes. Sets magically rezzed and disappeared, avatars seamlessly interacted with one another, and the costuming was incredible.

Productions in Second Life are beset by problems not encountered on the actual stage-- lag, actors who appear as clouds, inopportune viewer crashes by actors and members of the audience, the sim resetting, textures that won't resolve, temperamental scripts. Despite the best efforts of ARC, yesterday's production was affected. At one point Alice was trapped under a rez-fauxed prim hillock and couldn't find her way out, despite the White Queen's repeated ad libs to sit in a chair placed by a tree. At one point there were TWO Alices, the first having crashed but not yet disappeared from the screen and the stand-in having been called in to replace her.

There were issues with the actors, also. Most of the voices were over-amped; I had to cut the speech volume down for most of the players. Alice's avatar was most annoying, as she was constantly looking at the ground-- and not only that-- her back was to the audience more than half the time.

Still, it was an engaging and stunningly produced work, well-appreciated by the audience, Sweetie and myself included.

My favorite moment? When the audience, which had until then been seated on benches in the grass...

...suddenly found itself seated with the actors inside a rail car:

Through the Looking Glass is running through December. Tickets are $500L, a bargain, considering how much work went into the production.

For details, the SLURL, and ticketing, visit here.

More photos follow:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses, and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again

The Red Knight

"I like the Walrus best," said Alice, "because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters."

"He ate more than the Carpenter, though," said Tweedledee. "You see, he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise."

"That was mean!" Alice said indignantly. "Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus."

"But he ate as many as he could get," said Tweedledum.

This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, "Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—"

Curtain Call


Anonymous said...

Lovely review! I'm still new to SL and haven't seen any productions yet--maybe I'll make this my first. :)

Cheyenne Palisades said...

I hope you enjoy!