Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't Be Late For This Very Important Date: BEST Kids perform Disney's "Alice in Wonderland, Jr."

Burlington Educational Summer Theatre (BEST), a program of the Burlington Public Schools, is thrilled to return with its final production of the season, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” The performances will take place at 2:00 and 7:00 pm on Saturday, July 24 in the Fogelberg Auditorium of Burlington High School.

Who doesn’t know the story of Alice and her madcap adventures as she follows White Rabbit into Wonderland? Join her as she experiences a host of zany characters including the DoDo Bird, the Tweedles, the Queen of Hearts, the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat. Described by MTI as a “fast-paced stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland,” the production “features updated dialogue and new arrangements of such classic Disney songs as ‘I'm Late,’ ‘The Un-birthday Song’ and ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.’”

A family-friendly production, the BEST Kids’ performance of “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” will feature more than 60 students from Burlington schools ranging in age from seven to thirteen, with Rachel Seeley in the lead role of Alice, along with Sydney Matai as Small Alice and Emma Saltsman as Tall Alice. Also included in principal roles are Elana Schlansky as the White Rabbit and Katherine Ellis as the Mad Hatter; playing Caterpillars are Mia Campbell, Kacey Ridley, Gabrielle Corsino, Tyler Gnerre and Ashley Blathras; Cheshire Cats are played by Amanda Wagreich, Kaitlyn Brine and Cassidy Cummings. Also in featured roles are Amanda McCombs as the Dodo Bird, Madison Carter as the Doorknob, Mikaila Gnerre as Lilly and Ivy Saltsman as the March Hare. Also, Jade Gordon plays Mathilda, Jessica Gordon plays Rose and Jordyn Nobrega plays Petunia. Playing the roles of the King and Queen of Hearts are Michael Seeley and Emily Bertolami; and, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will be played by Rachel Czerwinski and Emily Frost.

The BEST production of “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” has a sizable ensemble with members playing the roles of Magical Characters, Flowers, Sea Creatures, Royal Cardsmen, the Tweedle Entourage, the Tea Party Entourage and the Park Children. The members of the ensemble are: Kerry Alexander, Sara Cannalonga, Casey Damon, Annie Ellis, Sasha Festi, Marlea Gainley, Shaylinn Gainley, Mari Gedick, Elisa Gonzalez, Kailee Heffler, Jessica Poulin and Carlee Wickwire. Also included are Bridgette Sullivan, Lindsay Corbett, Scott Czerwinski, Mary Hanafin, Daniel Harrigan, Matthew Harrigan, Serina Khalifa, Shane Manfredi, Glen Middleton-Cox, Samantha Murphy, Juliana Nigro, Stephen Nigro, Nicole Noonan, Christina Raposo, Jessica Sarver, Isabella Seeley, Caitlin Shea and Claudia Webb. Additionally, Theresa Chai, Kylie DeVarney, Joseph Godin, Erin Hardy, Kelliann Keaney, Olivia LoPreste, Jillian Murray and Annalisa Petrizzi.

Burlington Educational Summer Theatre is a summer program of the Burlington Public Schools that offers a professionally produced educational theatre experience for students. The program is in its second year under the guidance of BEST Executive Director John Middleton-Cox, a highly regarded theatre professional and music educator. Joining Middleton-Cox for the production of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” are Jeanne Coroniti (Fox Hill Elementary School’s music teacher) as Artistic and Music Director, Jamie Jaffe (Fox Hill classroom teacher) as Production Director, and Leanne Reardon (Assistant Director for Suzanne’s Dance Connection in Burlington) as Choreographer. Returning to BEST Kids this year are professional set designer Peter Waldron and award-winning costume designer Maureen Krebs.

BEST staff also includes a number of high school students and graduates, all veterans of Burlington High School productions, in roles as crew members and counselors. They are led by Kevin Parker as House Manager, Stage Manager Tori Carrabino, along with stage crew members Joseph Nosak, Jacinda Pedersen, Daryn Starkey, Nick Stewart and Sam Cote. Eva Costanza returns as a vocal coach, Eric Leva is the rehearsal accompanist, Chris LaRocque is the Sound Technician and Samantha Goober is the lighting technician. They are joined by Andrew Frost, Emily Martin, Caroline Coe, Zaven Ovian and Samantha Ellis.

Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” will be performed in the newly renovated 800-seat, air conditioned Fogelberg Auditorium of Burlington High School, located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington. Reserved seating tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased at For more information please call 781-A-FUN-TIC. Fogelberg Auditorium is handicapped accessible (please phone 781-270-1860 for special assistance).