Alice In Wonderland - A Musical Emergency

January 5, 2008
Santa Cruz, CA

Recordings only

Full text of the story

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Lewis Carroll CHAPTER I

Down the Rabbit-Hole

The heat of the day made Alice feel very sleepy and stupid as she sat on the riverbank with her sister. As she was considering picking daisies for a chain, however, a White Rabbit ran by.

That did not seem remarkable, until Alice saw the rabbit pull a watch out of its pocket and say "Oh dear! I shall be late!" before it hurried on. Filled with curiosity, Alice chased after the rabbit and watched it pop down a rabbit-hole. In another moment, down the hole went Alice herself.

Alice fell down a very deep well, the walls lined with cupboards and bookshelves. She fell for a very long time.

Down the Well - jD

She landed unhurt on a pile of dry leaves, only to see the white rabbit hurrying down a long passage. When she ran down the corridor, however, she soon found herself alone in a hall lined with locked doors.

On a small glass table, Alice found a golden key - and beside the table was a small door, about fifteen inches high. When she tried the golden key in the the lock, the small door swung open!

Alice looked through the door and saw a small passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw - but she was much too big to fit inside. When she looked back at the table, however, she found a little bottle labeled "DRINK ME".

Alice examined the bottle and, as it was not marked "poison", she tasted the liquid. Finding it delicious, she drank it down.

When Alice looked up, she found she had suddenly become ten inches high. She could now walk through the tiny door into the garden! But when she reached for the key, she realized she had left it on the glass table, now high above her. Heartbroken, Alice sat down and cried. Underneath the table, however, she spotted a little glass box. Opening it, she found a very small cake, with the words "EAT ME" spelled out on top. Reasoning that growing bigger would allow her to reach the key and growing smaller would allow her to slip under the door, Alice took a bite. When she found that her size had not changed, Alice finished off the cake.

Song - DVB


The Pool of Tears

"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice. "I'm growing so very tall!" Soon Alice's head bumped against the roof of the hall, for she had grown nine feet high. At once, Alice took the key from the table and opened the tiny door. But when she found she was again much too large to fit inside, she sat down and began to cry again, until her tears formed a pool four inches deep around her.

Hearing footsteps, Alice looked up to see the White Rabbit hurry by, muttering "Oh! The Duchess will be furious I've kept her waiting!" Alice raised her hand and said "If you please, Sir..." but her words only startled the rabbit, who dropped his white gloves and fan as he ran away in fright.

Alice picked up the fan and gloves and, as she had become very hot, she began fanning herself, saying "How queer everything is today!" To straighten herself out, Alice began repeating familiar verses and lessons - but the words came out very strange. Soon Alice realized that using the fan had made her shrink again. Excited to see the garden, Alice ran to the door - but it was again closed. Alice's foot then slipped, and suddenly she was chin-deep in salt water. She had slipped into the pool of her own tears! Soon Alice was joined by a swimming mouse. But when she tried to make friendly conversation by mentioning her cat, the mouse was horrified.

Soon Alice and the mouse were joined by a dodo and other creatures that had fallen into the water. Together, the whole party swam to shore.


A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale

All the creatures were soaking wet, so the dodo suggested a caucus-race to dry off. Everyone began running when they liked, and they stopped when they liked, until the dodo called out "The race is over!"

When the crowd asked who had won, the dodo said "Everybody has won!" "Then who will give us our prizes?" the group asked. "She will!" announced the dodo, pointing to Alice. Alice found a box of lemon-drops in her pocket and passed them around. In her other pocket she found a thimble, which the dodo awarded to Alice as her prize.

The mouse had promised Alice to explain why he so hated cats and dogs, so he then shared his tale: `Fury said to a mouse, That he met in the house, "Let us both go to law: I will prosecute YOU. --Come, I'll take no denial; We must have a trial: For really this morning I've nothing to do." Said the mouse to the cur, "Such a trial, dear Sir, With no jury or judge, would be wasting our breath." "I'll be judge, I'll be jury," Said cunning old Fury: "I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death."'


The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

Soon all the animals had left and Alice was alone. Again she heard footsteps and looked up to see the White Rabbit, which muttered as it trotted along, "The Duchess will have me executed! Where can I have dropped them?"

Alice guessed that the rabbit was searching for his fan and gloves, and she began looking about for them - but everything had changed since her swim in the pool. The rabbit then noticed Alice and scolded her: "MaryAnn, what are you doing here? Run home and fetch my gloves and a fan!"

Alice realized she'd been mistaken for a housemaid and ran off at once. She soon found a neat little house with "W. Rabbit" engraved on the door.

Alice entered and found a table holding a fan and three pairs of white kid-gloves. She took them and was about to leave when she spotted a bottle nearby. Although there was no label, she decided to drink the contents, sure that something interesting would happen.

Suddenly Alice's head was pressing against the ceiling, and she went on growing. Soon she put one arm out the window, and one foot up the chimney.

Alice then heard the angry voice of the rabbit, shouting "Mary Ann! My Gloves!" while it tried to open the door. When she heard the rabbit move under the window, Alice tried to grab it and heard a shriek and then a crash of broken glass, which must have been the rabbit falling into a cucumber-frame. "You'd better go down the chimney, Bill!" she heard the rabbit say. So Alice kicked her foot inside the chimney, and heard the creatures outside gasp "There goes Bill!"

"Burn the house down!" said the rabbit's voice. Alice grew worried.

Song - Mark H.

Soon Alice felt a stinging on her face. Dozens of pebbles had been thrown in the window at her, each turning into a cake as it hit the ground. Curious, Alice ate one of the cakes and found that she began shrinking. Soon she ran through the door, to find a crowd of little animals gathered. Alice kept running, into the woods.

Soon Alice came upon a large mushroom, the same height as herself. When she stood on tiptoe, her eyes met those of a large blue caterpillar atop the mushroom, smoking a hookah.

Song - Lani


Advice from a Caterpillar

"Who are you?" said the caterpillar.

"I hardly know, sir," said Alice. "I've changed so much, you see. I think you ought to tell me who you are first."

"Why?" said the caterpillar.

As Alice could not think of any good reason, she turned away. The caterpillar called after her, "So you think you've changed?"

Alice explained that she couldn't remember her school verses properly, and that she'd changed sizes several times that day.

"What size do you want to be?" asked the caterpillar.

"Oh, I'm not particular," said Alice. "But one doesn't like changing so often."

The caterpillar slowly climbed off the mushroom and crept away, saying "One side will make you larger; the other side will make you smaller."

"The other side of what?" asked Alice.

"Of the mushroom," said the caterpillar.

Alice stretched her arms around the mushroom and broke off a bit with each hand. She nibbled the right-hand bit and found she had shrunk dramatically! She then ate from the left-hand bit and found herself looking down from a much greater height. She had stretched out so much that she could no longer see her shoulders; all she could see was her long neck snaking up from the treetops far below, and a pigeon that circled her head, calling her a serpent.

Finally Alice crouched down, very carefully among the trees, nibbling on the pieces of mushroom until she was at last back to her normal height.

Hoping to return to the garden, Alice soon found a small house, about four feet high. Not wanting to frighten the residents, she nibbled again on the right-hand bit until she was nine inches high.


Pig and Pepper

A footman - who was actually a fish - ran out of the wood and knocked on the door. The door was opened by another footman, who was also a frog. Both figures were elegantly dressed, with powdered wigs.

The fish-footman produced a huge letter, announcing "For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen to play croquet." The frog-footman repeated the phrase back and both footmen bowed.

Soon the fish-footman was gone, and Alice walked up to the door. The door of the house opened, and a large plate flew out, breaking to pieces against a tree. Despite the terrible noise from within, Alice stepped inside.

Song - Cynthia

Alice entered a large kitchen, filled with smoke. The Duchess sat in the middle, nursing a baby, as the cook stirred a large steaming cauldron.

"There's too much pepper in that soup," thought Alice, for the baby sneezed and howled constantly and even the Duchess sneezed frequently. The only creatures that did not sneeze were the cook and a large cat that lay on the hearth, grinning widely.

"Please tell me," said Alice, "why your cat grins like that?"

"Because he's a Cheshire Cat," said the Duchess.

The cook took the soup off the fire and threw everything he could reach at the Duchess and the baby - fire irons, saucepans, plates and other things. The Duchess took no notice, continuing to nurse the baby and singing it a strange lullaby.

Song - Deb & Logan

The Duchess then flung the baby to Alice, saying "I must play croquet with the Queen!" Alice cradled the baby and stepped outside. But when she uncovered the infant's face, she saw that it was really a pig!

So she set the little creature down, and it trotted away. "If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig."

A few yards off, the Cheshire Cat grinned. "Cheshire Puss," Alice began, rather timidly, "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where--" said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"

"In THAT direction," the Cat said, "lives a Hatter, and in THAT direction lives a March Hare. They're both mad."

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here."

The Cat vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,"' thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

She had not gone much farther before she came in sight of the house of the March Hare.


A Mad Tea-Party

At a table under a tree sat the March Hare, having tea with the Mad Hatter and a Dormouse.

Song - Ethan

"Have some wine", said the March Hare to Alice.

"I don't see any wine", Alice replied.

"There isn't any," said the March Hare.

"What day of the month is it?" asked the Hatter, pulling a watch out of his pocket.

"The fourth," said Alice.

"My watch is two days slow!" said the Hatter. "I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!"

"It was the BEST butter," said the March Hare.

"Crumbs from the bread-knife must have got in as well," said the Hatter, adding "The Dormouse is asleep again," and pouring hot tea upon its nose.

The Dormouse shook its head without opening its eyes and said "Of course - I was just going to remark myself."

The conversation went on like this for some time, with the Hatter singing very strange songs and asking riddles for which he didn't know the answers, until finally Alice left as the Hatter and the March Hare were trying to put the sleeping Dormouse into the teapot.

Song - Craig D.

As she walked away, she noticed a door leading right into a tree. "Very curious!" thought Alice, and in she went.

Once more she found herself in the long hallway, with the glass table beside the small door. "I'll do it right this time," she thought, taking the little golden key from the glass table before nibbling at the mushroom-piece. When Alice was a foot high, she walked through the small door into a beautiful garden.


The Queen's Croquet-Ground

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance to the garden, with three gardeners busily painting the white roses red and arguing amongst themselves. "Five!", said one. "Don't splash the paint!"

"I couldn't help it, Two - Seven jogged my elbow!" said Five.

"Always blaming others!" said Seven, flinging down his brush. When he noticed Alice, however, they all bowed low.

"Why are you painting those roses?" asked Alice.

Two said "You see, this should have been a red rose tree, but we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find out, we'd all have our heads cut off. So we're doing our best, before she comes..."

At that moment, Five cried out "The Queen!" and the three gardeners threw themselves flat upon their faces.

First came ten soldiers carrying clubs, then the ten courtiers, ornamented with diamonds. After these came ten royal children, covered with hearts. Next came the royal guests, mostly Kings and Queens, with the white rabbit hurrying in with them. Last in this procession came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.

When the Queen of Hearts saw Alice, she stopped and asked "What is your name, child?" Alice introduced herself.

The Queen then eyed the white rose tree and the gardeners beneath. "Off with their heads!" she screamed.

Song - Martin A.

The Queen's procession moved on.

The three gardeners ran to Alice for protection, and she - realizing that the whole court was only a pack of cards - put them into a nearby flowerpot until the soldiers had left.

Soon Alice heard the Queen call to her, "Can you play croquet?"

"Yes!" shouted Alice, running to join the Queen.

Alice had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life. The balls were live hedgehogs, and the mallets live flamingoes, and the arches were soldiers bending on their hands and feet. The players all played at once, and Alice's flamingo kept lifting its head to look at her as she tried to play. The Queen became furious with the game, screaming "Off with his head!" about once a minute.

Frightened of the Queen, Alice wondered how she might sneak away from the game, when she noticed a curious appearance in the air. It was the smile of the Cheshire cat. Alice was glad to see her friend's head slowly appear.

Song - Jay K.

The King noticed Alice talking with the cat's head and suggested that the cat could kiss his royal hand, but the Cheshire cat said "I'd rather not." The King was furious at the cat's impertenence, and when he told the Queen she shouted "Off with his head!" But when the executioner arrived, the whole court argued about whether a head could be cut off if there was no body attached to cut it off from. Finally Alice suggested that they ask the Duchess, who owned the cat; but while the executioner ran off to bring back the Duchess, the cat's head entirely disappeared. The executioner and the king then ran up and down looking for it.


The Mock Turtle's Story

The Duchess was happy to see Alice, and soon the game had resumed. The Queen quarreled incessantly with the other players, shouting "Off with his head!" every few moments. Those sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who had to stop acting as arches to do this, so that soon there were no arches left, and all the players except the King and the Queen and Alice were awaiting execution.

"Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?" the Queen asked Alice.

"I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is," replied Alice.

"It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from. Come, you will hear its story," said the Queen.

As the two of them spoke, Alice heard the King whisper to the group, "You're all pardoned," which made Alice feel better.

The Queen brought Alice to meet a Gryphon and, instructing the creature to take Alice to meet the Mock Turtle, the Queen returned to look after the executions she'd ordered.

Alice and the Gryphon found the Mock Turtle sitting sadly on a rocky ledge.

And with the Gryphon's introduction, the Mock Turtle told Alice of his life, and how he used to be a real turtle, and how he went to school in the sea, studying reeling and writhing and the different branches of arithmetic: ambition, distraction, uglification and derision.

"And how many hours a day did you do lessons?" asked Alice.

"Ten hours the first day, Nine the next, and so on. That's why they're called lessons," said the Mock Turtle. "Because they lessen from day to day."

Alice thought it over and said "Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?"

"Of course," said the Mock Turtle.

"But that's enough about lessons," interrupted the Gryphon. "Tell her about the games."


The Lobster Quadrille

The Mock Turtle sobbed quietly. "As you've never lived under the sea," he said, "or been introduced to a lobster - you must have no idea what a Lobster-Quadrille is!"

"No indeed," said Alice. "What sort of dance is it?"

"You first form a line along the seashore..." said the Gryphon.

"Two lines!" cried the Mock Turtle.

"Each with a lobster as a partner!" said the Gryphon.

"Then you advance twice, and throw the lobsters out to sea..." said the Mock Turtle.

"...Swim after them!" screamed the Gryphon.

"Turn a somersault," said the Mock Turtle.

"Change lobsters again!" said the Gryphon.

"It must be a very pretty dance," said Alice.

"Come, let's try. We can do it without lobsters, you know," said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon.

Lobster Quadrille (intro)

Lobster Quadrille - Craig D.

"Now come - let's hear some of your adventures," said the Gryphon to Alice.

Alice told them how she first saw the White Rabbit, and all that followed. And when she got to the part about the caterpillar, and how the words of her poem all came out differently than she'd expected, the Mock Turtle said "That's very curious!"

The Gryphon beckoned Alice to recite another verse from school; but as she did, the words again came out strange - about lobsters, and sharks, and baking of sugary things.

After that, the lobster sang a sad song about turtle soup, when the Gryphon cried out "The trial's beginning!"

"What trial is it?" asked Alice as the Gryphon pulled her along.


Who Stole the Tarts?

The King and Queen of hearts sat on their thrones, before a great crowd, as well as the whole pack of cards, the White Rabbit (who held a trumpet and a scroll of parchment) and, in chains, the knave of hearts. In the middle of the court was a table with a large dish of delicious tarts.

The judge was the King, who commanded "Read the accusation!"

With this the White Rabbit blew his trumpet and read from the parchment scroll:

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer day; The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, and took them quite away!"

The first witness was the Hatter. As he answered the king's questions, however, Alice found herself growing larger! She thought at first she might leave the court, but then thought it better that she stay.

The next witness was the Duchess's cook. "What are tarts made of?" asked the King.

"Pepper, mostly," said the cook.

"Treacle," said the Dormouse from behind her.

"Behead that Dormouse!" said the Queen, and the court fell into confusion. When the Dormouse was in custody, the Cook had disappeared.

"Call the next witness!" said the King. And imagine her surprise when the White Rabbit read the name "Alice!"


Alice's Evidence

Alice quickly jumped up, knocking over the jury-box, for she'd grown quite large.

The White Rabbit then presented his evidence: a page of verses, which were not in the Knave's handwriting, nor were they signed by him, which was proof enough for the Queen that the Knave had written them with mischievous intent.

The White Rabbit then began to read the verses aloud:

"You told me you had been to her, and mentioned me to him;
She gave me a good character, but said I could not swim."

"This is the most important evidence we've heard yet," said the King, "So let the jury - "

"There isn't an atom of meaning in it!" said Alice.

The King looked over the verses. "Said I could not swim..." He turned to the Knave. "You can't swim, can you?"

"Do I look like I can swim?" said the Knave (which he certainly did not, being made of cardboard.)

"Then let the jury consider their verdict," said the King.

"No - sentence first, verdict afterwards," said the Queen.

"Nonsense!" said Alice.

"Nonsense? Off with her head!" shouted the Queen.

Nobody moved, for Alice had grown to her full size. "Who cares? Why, you're nothing but a pack of cards!" said Alice.

Song - Evan H.

At this point the whole pack rose and flew down upon her, and she fought them off, until she found herself lying on the bank, with her sister brushing away some leaves that had fluttered down upon her.

"Wake up, Alice!" said her sister.

Song - Cynthia

"Oh, I've had such a curious dream!" said Alice. And she told her sister, as well as she could remember, all about her adventures.

The End

All songs and recordings for this show copyright 2008 by their respective performers.
All rights are reserved.

All songs and recordings for this show will be copyright 2008 by their respective performers.
All rights are reserved.