From left to right

From left to right

Abundance of Alices perform in Parksville

REVIEW: musical comedy ensemble has audience laughing and crying and earns its mature rating

CARLI BERRY

news@pqbnews.com

A… My Name Will Always Be Alice is full of amusement, affection and analogies that have the audience chuckling one minute and tearing up the next.

The play starts with alliteration as the five-woman cast each introduce themselves as Alice and these Alice’s are in an all-girl band that sings the entire play.

Directed by Eileen Butts, this lively comedy twists and turns as the cast sings 24 songs with 24 different stories delving into the lives of women of all ages.

The five women impress with their quick changes through the night, both of scene and topic.

Opening night was on July 7 at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach as part of the Bard to Broadway Theatre Society season running until mid-August.

The actors: Marilyn Holt, Jennifer Kelly, Sarah McKelvey, Rosalee Sullivan and Belle Warner sing a jumble of songs and sketches that have some characters overlapping in different scenes and others that make a few appearances throughout the evening.

Sullivan outdid herself with her “For Women Only” soliloquies that had the audience hooting and hollering louder with each poem.

She read three scenes from her book of poetry throughout the evening, each more ridiculous than the last. She compared herself to a caged parrot, “Pretty Polly,” a withering house plant and a broken swan before exclaiming at the end of her poems “He did it!” and hobbling off stage. Sullivan’s limping and outlandish outfit’s even had the men cracking up.

Not for the light-hearted A… My Name Will Always Be Alice gets a mature rating for a reason.

Another audience favourite, “Gross Anatomy,” had Holt addressing the audience as a doctor to a class of young, female doctors and said that men are often hit with the case of “small cox” which has a bizarre effect on a man’s behaviour. Holt said even though they (men) think size doesn’t matter, “we all know that’s a crock of sh**”

Sex is discussed openly and metaphorically in Alice as McKelvey turns psychologist in another scene and Holt becomes a disturbed woman named Honeypot who can only sing about sex in metaphors about hardware and food.

In-between the comedy, Alice also discusses deeper issues that women face in their day-to-day lives.

In one scene Sullivan speaks about her “lovely little life” and how empty she felt even with children and a husband.

The scene “Life-lines” discusses the issue with women and self-image. It starts in a barber shop as three women compare themselves to women in magazines.

When Holt interrupts the conversation, and encourages the young women to love themselves and their wrinkles, the young women (McKelvey, Warner and Kelly) learn that the lines on their faces tell the story of their lives.

“Every crease is a masterpiece,” Holt sang.

Another scene has Warner as a male construction worker, and flips the tables on the objectification of women as McKelvey gives Warner an earful after receiving rude comments about her breasts.

A… My Name Is Alice received a well deserved standing ovation on opening night from the near-full audience.

Tickets are $11 for children, $20 for seniors and $22 for adults and the play will run until Aug. 15. To see the full schedule go to www.b2btheatre.com.

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