With the bombastic Queen of Hearts, the evaporating Cheshire Cat, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar and the ever-tardy White Rabbit, Lewis Carroll created such extraordinarily theatrical characters that he inadvertently upstaged Alice. It worked OK in the book, but even in the classic Disney animated film Alice comes off as little more than a tour guide, as much a spectator as the audience. Britain's Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada commissioned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon to create a full-length Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and he not only created a fantasy-filled ballet but also found ways to include Alice in more than the title. Wheeldon's Alice is a young teenager, not Carroll's young girl. The ballet opens at a garden party introducing Alice's family, characters in their own right, who morph into the major figures in Wonderland, including a young gardener who becomes the Knave of Hearts, providing a romantic interest for Alice and allowing for several of Wheeldon's luscious pas de deux. The second act is devoted to the Queen of Hearts and Alice's efforts to save the Knave of Hearts. A live orchestra performs the original score by L.A.-based composer Joby Talbot. If the reviews from last year's Canadian premiere are any indication, Wheeldon may have solved the puzzle of Alice, a feat that would be appreciated by mathemetician Charles Dodgson, a puzzle fan whose pen name was Lewis Carroll. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sun., Oct. 19-20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 20-21, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. musiccenter.org.
Oct. 19-20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 2 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 21, 2 p.m., 2012