Alice's Adventures Under Ground | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Alice's Adventures Under Ground 

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 9 2011
Price: $25
Martha Clarke is best known for her 1984 masterpiece, Garden of Earthly Delights--a plotless dance-theater work she once likened to moving paintings or "the house that you pass in a train at night. You never forget the moment you see someone move through the lighted window," she told a New York Times reporter. "I want my work to be endless windows." Ten years after Garden, Clarke collaborated with playwright Christopher Hampton on Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Her name doesn't show up in the program for this City Lit revival, though--and that seems telling, because her influence doesn't show up either. Director Terry McCabe approaches the piece as a conventionally whimsical play rather than what it is: a series of lighted windows revealing Lewis Carroll's relationship with his seven-year-old muse, Alice Liddell. McCabe's style invites us to expect things like a narrative, dramatic conflict, and characters with consistent identities, but none of that is forthcoming. Despite a strong cast, it's a frustrating 80 minutes. --Tony Adler



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