“Never Wonderland,” a thrilling new show from Boom Kat Dance Theatre, creatively brings to life turn-of-the-century England in a story about the innocence and threat of childhood. Emotionally charged and high energy, the show starts with a bang and never lets go.
Beginning with the intriguing concept that Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are brother and sister, the production weaves the two stories together to explore the nature of childhood, imagination and growing up. The show is a study of dualities: innocence/threat, fantasy/reality and childhood/adulthood.
Similar in concept to the dance troupe Pilobolus, Boom Kat Dance Theatre explores movement and meaning, expressively mixing together dance, acting and athleticism to communicate and reveal a story and emotionally bring it to life. Acting as a unit, they organically create a fantasy world that wonderfully blends dance and production design.
The dancers possess enormous skill and ability, both in creating character and exploring movement. Leading the pack is Donald Webber, Jr. as Captain James, charismatic, fiery and threatening. Juliana Tyson brings stylish attitude to the Queen of Hearts. Lili Fuller’s Alice is full of innocence, wonderment and strength. Collaboratively the group also choreographs highly visual, rhythmic and stylish movements that often resemble striking silent movie images.
Production work is also first rate, from Kate Thomas’ elegant set design, Griffin Behm’s mood enhancing lighting and Alicia Papanek, Ryan Bolton and Kimi Lewis’ colorful costumes.
A wonderfully visceral show for audiences of all ages, “Never Wonderland” exists on a high fantasy plane.
Boom Kat Dance Theatre presents “Never Wonderland” Thursday-Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through June 14 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse (1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica). Tickets cost $20. For reservations, please call (310) 979-7196, visit www.bookkat.org or www.brownpapertickets.com.