Imagine that Lady Gaga and Cirque de Soliel collaborated on a music and dance extravaganza in middle-of-nowhere Brooklyn, where you could watch this performance from a comfortable black leather sofa while sipping absinthe and eating chocolate truffles. This is Queen of Hearts, a two and a half hour theatrical performance that is both elegant and decadent, as well as just a bit surreal.
This extremely talented troupe of dancers, gymnasts and singers know as Company XIV, created and directed by Austin McCormick, have been doing slightly naughty re-interpretations of classic fairy tales such as Cinderella for a little over a decade. But their version of Alice in Wonderland is a must-see experience.
All the familiar elements of the Lewis Carroll tale are there –The Mad Tea Party, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, The Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar—but they are almost unrecognizable here, and certainly NOT Disney. Some of the above-your-head acrobatics reminded me of the setting of Behind the Green Door.
I am an Alice in Wonderland aficionado – I have seen Alice theatrical performances all over the world, and even in French. While I love the interactive And Then She Fell (currently still playing in Brooklyn too), this is by far the most adult and creative interpretation of Wonderland I have seen.
The show takes place in a nondescript Brooklyn storefront on a side street, but when you enter there are two bars with an array of themed drinks (the Mad Hatter drink is served in a tea cup) and Caberet-esque bartenders and servers who you soon learn are the actual performers who are so damn good. It’s an amazing experience from the moment you walk in the doors, and you are welcome to stay and nibble on the macaroons or truffle potato chips after the show.
This show runs through August 18 with tickets ranging from $59 to $159 (some with drinks included). Performances are Thursdays - Sundays and select Wednesdays Purchase at http://CompanyXIV.com