Friday night, I had four young boys for a play date and thought opening night of Alice in Wonderland at Casa Mañana would be the perfect way to entertain them after a hard week of Kindergarten over-scheduling. We started with a perfect outdoor dinner at Hoffbrau, by their request, and a few burgers and fries later, we were off to Casa Mañana. It was only on the short ride over that I had the paralyzing thought that 7, 6, 6, and 3 year-old BOYS might not be as interested in Alice as I was. Luckily, I was WAY wrong!
The musical starts with Alice and her keeper daydreaming in the park, and I'm watching the boys for any signs of restlessness. The show quickly transitions into musical numbers and fast-paced fun. They were entranced and rooted to their seats the entire time! It should be noted that the show runs just over an hour with no intermission. This is great for kids with short attention spans or as an introductory theatre experience.
Our collective favorites were the caterpillar (Akron Watson) who steals the show with his James Brown dancing and green pompadour. My three year-old tried to count his arms but we may never know how many there were. We were all belly laughing. The Cheshire cat has star moments and Tweedledee/dum is charming and silly. And of course there's Alice, who is portrayed by two talents, who do the heavy lifting.
If you haven't yet been to Casa, I highly suggest moms & dads get there with your kids soon. I have lived in Fort Worth for many years and only just now have started going regularly ,and think it's one of the undiscovered gems of our area. Our entire performing arts offerings here are pretty amazing for kids and adults, between organizations like Casa, Performing Arts FW, Jubilee, Circle Theatre and so many others. Encourage friends from out of town to come see this part of Fort Worth.
After Alice, the kids mentioned that the only thing that might make the evening any better, was ice cream from Sweet Sammies. While the traffic cleared, the boys ran off their excess energy in the green space at Casa, and we headed to get ice cream at West 7th, to complete the evening.