Broadway goes through the looking glass

Wildhorn musical 'Wonderland' set for N.Y. bow

Frank Wildhorn tuner “Wonderland” has mapped out its path to Broadway, trying out in Tampa in January ahead of a Main Stem berth that begins perfs in March.

The legit “Alice in Wonderland” redux, subtitled “A New Alice. A New Musical Adventure,” brings Lewis Carroll’s highly recognizable property — also the basis of Disney’s hit pic “Alice in Wonderland 3D” — to the Rialto. Musical looks poised to benefit from the kind of universally familiar title that powers “The Addams Family,” which has been a consistent top grosser on Broadway since it began perfs in the spring despite downbeat reviews.

Musical is produced by Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations. In Gotham, production will play a Nederlander house to be determined.

“Wonderland” marks the Broadway return of composer Wildhorn, whose mixed track record on the Main Stem includes 1997 outing “Jekyll and Hyde,” which ran almost four years, and the 2004 offering “Dracula,” which only last a few months.

Gregory Boyd, a.d. of Houston’s Alley Theater, directs and co-writes the book with lyricist Jack Murphy. Boyd also wrote the book for Wildhorn’s short-lived 1999 outing “The Civil War,” which had lyrics by Murphy. Marguerite Derricks (“Fame”) choreographs.

Plot follows an adult Alice, whose perspective on the pressures of her career and her family life is changed by a trip through the looking glass.

Tampa stint for “Wonderland,” set for Jan. 4-Jan. 16, reps the tuner’s return visit to the Straz Center. Musical also had its world preem there in late 2009, ahead of a run earlier this year at the Alley Theater. Production has been developed as part of the Straz Center’s Broadway Genesis Project. The Tampa and Houston runs of the musical rang in notably strong sales.

On Broadway, “Wonderland” begins previews March 21 ahead of an April 17 opening.

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