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Friends for Alice: A Musical Extravaganza for the Whole Family

A sure sign of spring is the opening of the theater season in venues across the Boston area. Performance Studio SunDance, an Allston-based children’s dance troupe, premieres Friends for Alice, a musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass stories.

The 2-hour play and dance extravaganza features SunDance dancers, ages 3 through 15, performing musical numbers to accompany seasoned actors as they tell the classic tale of young Alice’s fall into the rabbit hole.

Staged on the Chestnut Hill campus of Pine Manor College, in the spacious and beautiful Ellsworth Theater, dynamic choreography sequences backed by an eclectic soundtrack inspires a family friendly, handclapping and karaoke-style vibe.

That playful and welcoming ambiance is a hallmark of SunDance performances. The 15-minute intermission includes activities for the audience in the foyer, and each show closes with a balloon-drop finale.

This all-ages event is priced with families in mind, with tickets ranging in cost from $10-$30 each depending on seat location. The sight lines from any seat in Ellsworth are outstanding, but the pricing reflects SunDance’s efforts to entice Boston-area families to experience a local troupe with big-city aspirations.

Those aspirations are likewise reflected in the costumes and props. The 65 dancers take the stage in handmade garments, drawing from a wardrobe of more than one thousand outfits and five thousand garment or accessory pieces designed by Artistic and Executive Director Irina Pavlova, and created by SunDance’s professional seamtresses.

While the fun factor is built into the overall theatrical experience, SunDance’s young troupe is all business performing 30 different complex dance routines with effortless grace. These numbers are supported by a backstage crew coordinating costume and set changes, while the front house staff manages the perfectly timed lighting and sound transitions.

From the opening to final sequence, the enchanting experience created by these performers will have you and your family happily perched on the edge of your seat, enjoying a mesmerizing afternoon at the theater.

Friends for Alice will be performed at Ellsworth Theater at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, May 22. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.; performance starts at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$30 via EventBrite, and parking is free. For more information, please call 617-838-6832 or www.studiosundance.com



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