Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

It is 1941 during the London Blitz of World War II. We are in an emergency bunker in a tube station amid posh kids sipping tea, working-class kids gambling rations, and a wounded soldier crying out from PTSD. Amidst the chaos sits a young girl, Alice, who loves nothing so much in the world as her ailing, near-dying young friend, Alfred. He lies in quarantine, suffering from tuberculosis under the care of a Red Cross Nurse. The Nurse warns the girl: "Catch that boy's cough, he'll be your death." Alice is in denial about the impending death of her friend and years to escape from the horror of the world she’s in. (“West of Words”).

Alice begs Alfred to escape with her into the world of the book they used to read as children Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She promises he'll be able to run and breathe there."It's too late for all that now," Alfred declares. And before Alice can read another word, the Nurse snatches the book from her hands, rips it apart, and hurls it across the tracks, its dusty pages scattering everywhere. Alice becomes very defiant and declares: "I'll show you. I'll bring you. I know it all by heart."

With that, Alice begins reciting the book, filling the words with her passion. And as she recites, Alfred rises from his cot and turns into the White Rabbit. A homeless girl in bandages transforms into a grinning Cheshire Cat. The Red Cross Nurse becomes the Queen of Hearts, the PTSD-stricken soldier becomes the Mad Hatter, and the entire Underground transforms into Wonderland (“Down The Hole”).

Alice begins a journey through a rather different Wonderland, with characters as bizarre and alive as the world she's just left. As she wanders through Wonderland she runs into two Caterpillars, both older and roguish, who tease her about the way her body has changed and they seduce her with the sweet fumes of hookah. (“Chillin' The Regrets”).

The White Rabbit finds Alice with the Caterpillars, and she has succumbed to the allures of hookah. Seeing that she has been distracted, he reminds her that she is not following the story and that she has skipped a chapter. They try to resume from where they left off, but Alice begins to entice the White Rabbit with hookah. He reminds her that the Queen will have is head if he relents. Alice tells him that they are in charge of their own story, and the White Rabbit takes a puff (“The Key Is”).

Shortly after, Alice and the White Rabbit meet the Cheshire Cat, who entices them into a golden waltz with lobsters. As the two shyly dance together, they realize their full feelings for one another (“Those Long Eyes”). After their dance, White Rabbit becomes anxious about keeping up with the time and runs off.

In the meantime, Alice encounters the Duchess, who demeans her body and antagonizes her for growing up too fast. The Duchess tells Alice that her body developing is causing hers to fade away. As she berates Alice, she informs her that the Queen has invited them to play croquet (“Manage Your Flamingo”).

At the croquet game, a bomb sounds and the entire world of Wonderland disappears. We are transported back to the bunker where we see all of the young people under their cots afraid for their lives. Alfred begins to read from the book again, but Alice notices he’s skipping to the end. He tells her he has to get to the story’s end before he reaches his own end. Alice begs Alfred to stop talking like that and refuses to let him go. Alfred comforts her, assuring that he will try to make it easy for her.

Alfred rises from his cot, turns into the March Hare, and joins the Mad Hatter and Dormouse at a table for a Wonderland Tea Party. They push Alice around the table, telling her that there is no room at the table. As they insult and taunt her, the March Hare says the meanest things of them all - to get Alice to hate him. (“Sick To Death of Alice-Ness”).

Alice finally has had enough and declares she hates Alfred. He succumbs to a cough and is taken away on a stretcher. She tries to take it back, but soon after, a doctor spewing medical jargon turns into the terrifying Jabberwocky. The Underground becomes a macabre party, blaring with house music (“Brillig Braelig”). Alice fights back against the Jabberwocky and banishes him.

The Cheshire Cat appears to her again. Alice asks for advice on how to make Alfred stay with her. The Cheshire Cat tells her that there’s no bargaining with death and that she must to let Alfred go (“Some Things Fall Away”).

Alice then meets the Mock Turtles, who encourage her to not move on and to live in her grief (“Your Shell of Grief”).

Alfred returns, telling Alice that he wants to finish the story with her, but Alice, taking the Mock Turtles' advice, pleads with him not to move on. Alfred asks how Alice will grieve him, both of them lamenting about what could have been. But alas, he truly is the White Rabbit. He is running out of time. Alfred just wants to make it through the story one last time. Alice tries to kiss him, hoping to contract tuberculosis and die with him, but Alfred stops her. In time, she will be fine, he assures her (“Another Room In Your Head”).

Against Alice’s pleas, Alfred continues the story, turning back into the White Rabbit as Alice’s trial begins. The Queen and King of Hearts come forward. The Queen dresses down Alice, ridiculing her in front of the citizens of Wonderland (“Isn’t It A Trial?”). As the White Rabbit reads off the accusations, the characters gang up on her, telling her that she isn’t the only Alice that enters Wonderland (“Do You Think We Think You’re Alice?”).

Tired of all the ridicule and abuse, Alice finally stands up for herself, with Alfred coming to her defense. The Cheshire Cat helps them break out of Wonderland and return to reality ("I've Shrunk Enough"). Alice and Alfred admit their feelings for one another as he dies (“Afternoon”).

The show ends with Alice accepting Alfred's death and looking to the future. After her adventures, Alice has learned how to love, how to let go, and how to move forward (“Winter Blooms”).