BC Review: A…My Name will always be Alice!

Photo Courtesy of Director Tammis Doyle.

Woman everywhere in today’s modern society, typically have about five things on their mind at once.

What they need to do at work, what dinner they need to make for the night, how their hair looks, how much they want to work out for the day, boyfriends, husbands – women live busy lives. Even in the least busy of places.

“A…My Name will Always be Alice” is Bellevue College’s summer play, produced by BC’s Drama Department.

Surrounding six women as they display and experience many issues and trials women face today (relationships, work, family, friendships, love, etc), this comedy captures many of the troubling lives, fantastic relationships and worthwhile moments women experience in everyday life.

Written in 1983, and having premiered in New York, this play is the third play of three ‘Alice’ segments.

The production, held at BC’s Stop Gap theater, was set up with a ‘dessert theater’ theme; cheesecake, cupcakes, chocolate mousse and sparkling cider for purchase at the front entrance, cafe styled tables patterning the Stop Gap black floor, which left just enough space for a two-platform stage at the front of the black box, and a set of blue, red and yellow lights to line the stage against the black curtains behind it.

Full of short stories and funny scenes, this play took a while to catch up to – it began with a song about an all women’s band (all the band member’s names were Alice), then flushed to numerous scenes not revolving around the band at all, introducing several characters in the span of one Act – the play did however have quite a lot of messages to teach the audience.

Lighting for this show felt very flashy, very Broadway, which instilled a sense of importance and excitement from the audiences’ perspective – the clothes were colorful, business casual and fancy – however the energy for the show was very mellow for the first Act. I felt I should be excited because the lights, well-chosen clothing and great live band off-stage were telling me to, I simply was not believing the importance and glamour of the scenes, save a few which were so fun and hilarious they had the whole audience talking about them during intermission. It felt rehearsed, practiced – instead of experiencing the moment, I was being shown a school production and students learning the stage.

Act two, however, changed that view completely. Emotional honestly and investment finally brought the characters in front of me to life – and things got suddenly serious when the actresses showed their vulnerable side.

I saw visible shaking, quaking shoulders and watery eyes – and the production reminded me why it is I love to come to school productions: nowhere else will you find the struggle to make art at such a fleeting stage in artistic evolution.

“‘A…My Name will Always be Alice’ is the combination of two shows: ‘A…My Name is Alice” and “A…My Name is Still Alice.” The Alice revenues have been performed continuously since 1983.

They have been updated and each production is invited to connect to the specific area in which they are being performed.

Our Alice is the product of the work of a wonderful group of female artists: musical director, designers, stage manager and actors and supported by a great group of guys in the shop, grid, booth and band!” said Tami Doyle in the brochure for the show, which played August 2-5 in BC’s Stop Gap theater.

Starring BC actresses Maddie Dugan, Griffin Freese, Shauny Jang, Rachel (Roxie) Mills, Chelsea Moe and Kelly Oakley as the talented actresses and a fantastic band lead by Musical Director Sara Hanson, with Zac Stowell on drums and Troy Tompkins on bass, costumes were designed by Annie Murphy, lighting by Allysa Thompson, with student Elizabeth Craswell stage managing, this play was worth it’s ticket.