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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and Lookingglass Theatre Company are proud to announce the Florida premiere of Lookingglass Alice, a spectacular journey into Alice’s magical world complete with gravity defying thrills and Lookingglass-Alice_copy3breathtaking theatricality, as its marquee presentation for summer 2015. Set and experienced entirely on the Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House Lynn Wolfson stage, Lookingglass Alice flies into Miami on July 8 after a recent critically-acclaimed and extended run in Chicago. Lookingglass Alice is a circus tribute to Lewis Caroll created by Lookingglass Theatre Company, a 2011 Regional Theater Tony Award-winning group of multidisciplined ensemble of artists including founding member, movie and television star David Schwimmer.

Adapted and directed by Lookingglass Theatre Company ensemble member David Catlin, Lookingglass Alice is a marvel for all ages, transporting audiences down the rabbit hole to a circus-infused playground for an exhilarating wonderland adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

“South Florida audiences who love the Arsht Center’s summer blockbusters will be delighted to know that Lookingglass Alice continues our seasonal tradition of inventive, transformative and engaging programming,” said Scott Shiller, Arsht Center Executive Vice President. “Our creative partners at Lookingglass Theatre Company share this passion and we’re eager to premiere their newly revamped masterpiece in Miami. Enjoyed by all ages, Lookingglass Alice is a high-flying, wondrous treat for the imagination!”

Lookingglass Theatre Company has built a national reputation for artistic excellence and ensemble-based theatrical innovation. Notable world premieres include Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-winning Metamorphoses, The Arabian Nights, and The Odyssey, David Schwimmer’s adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Studs Terkel’s Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel about the American Obsession, Lookingglass’ work has been produced in more than a dozen US cities.

Tickets to Lookingglass Alice are $55 and $75. The VIP White Rabbit Experience, a $35 upgrade to any ticket purchase, includes: special meet-and-greet with the cast, backstage tour to see the show’s theatrical magic first hand, digital photo with cast members, limited edition Lookingglass Alice merchandise, and more. Tickets are available to Arsht Center members now and to the Lookingglass-Alice_copy2general public on March 2. Tickets may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by contacting the group sales department at (786) 468-2326 or groupsales@arshtcenter.org.

Lookingglass Alice will play Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with additional matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Molly Brennan plays the role of the Red Queen in the Chicago production of Lookingglass Alice, and she will reprise her role for the summer tour at the Adrienne Arsht Center. She has been playing this role for the past six years, and it’s a lot of fun for her. “I’m a butch lady, so I feel like when I’m playing the Queen, it’s like doing drag,” Molly told us. In this fancy “drag,” Molly gets to do somersaults, walk on stilts and even move around with a grown person on her shoulders. She does that eight times per week, and loves every minute of it. Molly had a chance to speak to me briefly for a mini-interview.

How excited is the company to come down to Miami for the summer?

How excited are we? [laughs] We can’t wait! It’ll be my first time spending time in the city. One of our cast members just got done with an engagement of The Magnificents in Miami. I know all of us are really excited to show the production to a new audience.

Will it be difficult putting on the show in Miami considering in Chicago the stage is built for this production, and everyone knows where their marks are?Lookingglass-Alice_copy1

The Lookingglass stage is very unique in that it’s so versatile. The first time I performed in the production, I actually learned the ropes touring in Atlanta and Syracuse, and those venues are a lot larger than the stage we use in Chicago. I think it’ll be easy for us to adapt to the space given to us in Miami.

How does this production differ from the original story of Alice in Wonderland, and what do people notice right off when they see the production for the first time?

The biggest component, of course, is that it’s a circus telling. The story is advanced by the execution of circus tricks. The other unique element about this production is that there are only five of us in the show. The actor who plays Alice plays the same part throughout, and the other four of us play all the other characters that appear throughout. The circus and the tiny cast are the two things that people notice immediately.

With that being said, there’s so much made of the aerial work and the tumbling that people are pleasantly surprised when they view the show and see its depth. It’s a really moving show in addition to being risky and exciting and fast-paced. The actor who plays Alice is so gifted and is really good at bringing you along on the journey.

For more information on the Lookingglass Theatre, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.