HOUSTON -- The A. D. Players is taking no chances. Not one but two promotions are being offered during this week's performances of Through the Looking Glass, a one-hour musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's 1872 sequel to the British mathematician and writer's 1865 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The show has book and lyrics by Jeannette Clift George, the founder and artistic director of the 30-year-old troupe, and music by Patrician Wells Morris, a company actress and its musical director. The show opened April 16 and continues through May 16 at the Rotunda Theater of St. Lukes United Methodist Church.
On Tuesday, April 28, little people and their accompanying big people are invited to come dressed as characters from Carroll's classics and enter a contest for the most Wonder-ful costume. As the participants parade around, audience applause will decide who is the best, most creative "character." Rest assured that a tyke will win. The grand prize is a gift certificate from a prominent area children's clothes and toy store. As of press deadline, the amount hadn't been set yet, though Morris felt confident that $50 was not unrealistic. And while nothing had been lined up for the runners-up, Morris, also the assistant for media marketing for The A. D. Players, proclaimed, after some encouragement, that something would be done for them too. What wasn't negotiable was the ticket price, $5 for children, $7 for adults: even those all decked out will have to pay to go vicariously down the Rabbit hole.
Then on Saturday, May 2, The A. D. Players is hosting its third "Grandparents Day." Grandparents are invited to come see Through the Looking Glass with their progeny, about whom they're allowed to brag. Grandmothers will be given long stem red roses and grandfathers will buttonhole red boutonnieres. Two drawings are to be held. One is for a t-shirt with the logo "My grandparents brought me to The A. D. Players . . . I must be doing something right!" The other is for a $50 gift certificate towards a family portrait at Barbara Nickelson Photography. No matter who wins, no one will leave hungry: everybody gets a coupon for McDonald's French fries.
The A. D. Players is a professional Christian troupe. But Morris says the musical is a faithful retelling, having fun with the fantasy and the comedy but just with a few references to God and values added in. "The show is basically about nonsense," Morris said. "Everything is backwards and things happen out of order." Morris continued, "The show points out Alice's journey. She goes through a chess board on her way to becoming queen. The lesson that everybody can learn from her is when the White Queen tells her she's always had a royal heart: we all have royal hearts." Through the Looking Glass continues at the Rotunda Theater of St. Lukes United Methodist Church through May 16. For tickets, $5 for children, $7 for adults, call (713) 526-2721
-- By Peter Szatmary