Starting tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Laugh Riot Performing Arts Company will once again take us through the rabbit hole with their latest production, “Through the Looking Glass.”
The play is Joshua Mizikowski’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s sequel to “Alice in Wonderland,” which Laugh Riot put on last semester.
“The edit wasn’t that difficult. I took this mostly directly from the original book, I cut down some of the poetry and tweaked the end a little but the majority remains intact,” Mizikowski said.
Mizikowski said a lot of his inspiration for this adaptation came from working on “Alice in Wonderland” at Binghamton University, but other sources as well.
“I took a lot of inspiration from the Broadway production of ‘Peter and The Starcatcher,’ mostly the idea of doing almost everything in front of the audience and allowing the imagination of the cast and crew to really help shape the world we see,” Mizikowski said.
Mizikowski said one of his goals for this production was to get the audience to feel like children again.
“I want to do a production where it holds people’s interest so that they forget about their cell phones and everything else for an hour and a half and just let themselves be a kid again,” Mizikowski said.
With “Through the Looking Glass” being a sequel to last semester’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” several familiar faces will be returning to the stage for this production.
Both Jonny Rick and April Connick will be returning for “Through the Looking Glass,” but Mizikowski stressed that full auditions were held for all and they got a “great group of people.”
Rick, who played the Caterpillar in “Alice in Wonderland,” this time around is playing several roles, Lewis Carrol, the Walrus, and the white knight.
“Returning for Looking Glass has been an almost jarring experience,” Rick said. “Alice and Looking Glass, though very similar stories, are very different in style and in directors.”
Both Mizikowski and Rick agreed a substantial amount of work went into getting this production prepared for opening night.
“We have been working on this for a little over a month and a half. It has been an extremely long month and a half but a very fulfilling one in the long run,” Rick said.
Mizikowski agreed that the amount of work that has gone into this production has been difficult at times. “This cast has done a huge amount of work, from stage violence to ballroom dancing. Doing not just a large amount of physical stage work, but also tackling some difficult text,” Mizikowski said. “They and a very talented crew deserving all the credit for getting this show to the quality work it is.”
On top of rehearsals, blocking, memorizing line and everything else that goes into the show most of the actors also had to balance a full class schedule as well.
“With any show, there needs to be a certain level of prioritizing when it comes to classes and everything,” Rick stated. “I mean, I’d be lying if I said everything went swimmingly, but I’m not failing anything so I’m quite content.”
“Through the Looking Glass” opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Diebold Center for the Performing Arts, running through Saturday April 11, with a matinee show Sunday April 12 beginning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for Edinboro faculty and staff and $3 for all Edinboro students.
Logan Lilly is the editor in chief for The Spectator. He can be reached at (814)732-2266.