Theater Weekend: "Alice in Wonderland" and Other Plays

There will be plenty of options for theatergoers in Cranford, as well as other events.

This is the opening weekend for the Driftwood Players Theater Company’s “Alice in Wonderland” at . First, a preview performance on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., then two more performances this weekend on Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m.

“Alice in Wonderland has been tossed around as an option since the first time we walked into the Trinity Episcopal theatre two years ago,” said Katherine Benson, the director of “Alice in Wonderland” and the artistic director and founder of the Driftwood Players in an e-mail interview. “The space we get to use lends itself to an off-beat production, and what is more off-beat than Wonderland?”

Knowing there are so many different versions of “Alice in Wonderland,” Benson challenged herself to produce a unique version of a well-known show.

“The question was not how can we bring something new to Wonderland, but how can we bring something new to the audience experience,” she wrote.

The solution found by the Driftwood Players is one that Benson calls “runway theater,” which, “looks exactly how it sounds.” The audience will be watching the performance as if they were watching a fashion runway, but despite the different way of presenting the story, Benson says the Driftwood Players have stuck closely to the plot of the original Lewis Carroll book.

“If you are ready to try something new, and to have a lot of fun with us, come see this show,” wrote Benson. “The costumes are over the top, the set is unique, and the acting is remarkable. I love this show, I love this cast, and I know people cannot help but feel the same.”

Tickets for Thursday’s preview are $5 and tickets to the rest of the performances are $12. Besides the shows this weekend, the play will also run on Feb. 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and on Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. The shows are held in the Trinity Episcopal Theater, behind the church.

More events in Cranford this weekend:

Friday, February 18

  • Cougars boys varsity wrestling will compete at districts at Westfield High School at 5:30 p.m.
  • Cranford High School girls varsity basketball will travel to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School for a 7 p.m. game.
  • The Cranford Dramatic Club’s “Moon Over Buffalo” will be performed at 8 p.m. at the . This is the second-to-last performance of this play by the club. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, February 19

  • Cranford High School boys varsity wrestling will compete at districts at Westfield High School beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Cranford High School boys freshman basketball will compete in the freshman tournament at 12 p.m. at .
  • This month’s by The Theater Project will feature “To a Point” by Michael Z Murphy and “Mask of Ethan” by Ed Latar. Murphy is a professor an assistant professor of English at Union County College, where the performances will be held from 3-5 p.m. A discussion of the plays will follow the performances. This event is free.
  • Cougars coed varsity winter track will take a trip to Toms River to compete in state groups at the Bennett Center at 4 p.m.
  • The last chance to see the Cranford Dramatic Club’s production of “Moon Over Buffalo” will be this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.

Sunday, February 20

  • If you’re into folk music and you want to take the trip to Morristown, there will be the Second Annual Garden State Folk Festival at the starting at 3 p.m. and featuring four acts: Carla Ulbrich, a woman who describes her own music as “Funny Folk”; the Hickory Tree Chorus; the Dirdy Birdies Jug Band; and Roger Deitz. Tickets are $20 and are available online.


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