The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland: A Show of 5,374 Miles

In the summer of 2008, Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann gassed up the automobile. They filled a picnic basket with refined sandwiches, tropical fruits and sparkling water, brought a soundtrack that included Charlie Parker, T-Rex, and The Modern Lovers, and set off across the U.S. for a month-long trip.

In between Seattle and performances in Minneapolis, venue scouting in Chicago, and weddings in Wisconsin, there were 5374 miles of driving. To pass the time, they read aloud to each other the entirety of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There. Somewhere on the road from Seattle to the Second City, enthralled by the richness of Carroll’s world and the insanity of its characters, they decided that “Alice” would be the focal point of their next “Spectacle of Ecdysiastic Pageantry”.

The concept developed throughout the rest of 2008, as they traveled with The Atomic Bombshells to Shanghai in July, returned to Chicago in October, toured Portugal with the Atomic Bombshells in November, and during production of Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker in both Chicago and Seattle. Pre-production began in late January 2009.

Verlaine & McCann set to a furious round-the-clock schedule and, six weeks later, the show premiered at Seattle’s illustrious Triple Door on March 24th.  Since then, the show has grown and changed to become what it is today, but the core themes and characters were born that summer…on the road.

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