Dorothy and Alice take Flight — but the Show Falls Flat…

By Ernest Kearney —  The Aeriform Arts Studios is setup for those interested in learning the skills of trapeze, ribbon silks, lyra hoop and other forms of acrobatic disciplines usually seen featured in Vegas shows and Cirque du Soleil.

The production of Dorothy & Alice: An Aerial Play, offers the studio’s students an opportunity to show off their talents to a live audience. They succeed in displaying fanciful feats and presenting some lovely stage scenes.

They frame the show, which just closed its extended run at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018, is a schoolyard meeting between Dorothy of Oz fame and Alice the muse of Lewis Carroll; a serviceable concept, but one that they have not used to serve the show.

It is basically a statement: “Alice meets Dorothy,” but a statement is not a foundation for a dramatic endeavor.

No effort was made by Producer Lea Walker or Creative Director Colleen Dunleap to develop a narrative or structure a satisfying piece of theatre in which the skills of the cast Silver Medal (via The TVolution)could be interwoven as a natural and integral element.

The show consists of choreographed pieces, generally to rather predictable musical selections that suffer from being merely isolated “bits.”

Though the show was barely worthy of a Bronze, the work of the performers was solid and I’m giving it a SILVER MEDAL in hopes that next year, Aeriform Arts Studios returns to the Fringe with a piece that’s been given a good deal more thought.

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(To learn more about Aeriform Arts Studios projects and classes click HERE.)

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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