Best Of 2011

BEST REASON NOT TO GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: TBPAC’s disastrous Wonderland run on Broadway

In its first incarnation, Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (now the Straz) had a few problems, mostly to do with the hackneyed career-vs.-marriage subplot that framed the journey of the central character, a contemporary grown-up Alice. But a number of the supporting characters were a kick — the White Knight as head of a boy band, a neurotic White Rabbit, an imperious Red Queen with a killer solo number — and the production values were topnotch. But something happened in the subsequent rewrites and re-re-rewrites. By the time of its pre-Broadway run at the Straz several months later, the subplot had been reduced to no plot at all, so Alice now just seemed like, well, a whiner. When the show finally got to Broadway, critics were unkind (to put it kindly).