For the 53rd year, young dancers will delight audiences with their talents at the annual Maddox Dance Studio recitals, Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13. All shows take place in the Astoria High School auditorium.

This year's recital weekend features two performances of the two-act ballet, "Alice in Wonderland," choreographed in 1966 by Patricia Bowman and staged by the student dance company Little Ballet Theatre. Maddox owner, Jeanne Peterson, first produced the ballet in 1987 with Rhonda Dedmon Alderman in a lead role. Alderman and her husband, Michael, are the lighting and sound directors for this production.

Tall Alice (Kaitlin Oja), Middle Alice (Jessica Hoffman) and Small Alice (McKenzie Hutson) chide the White Rabbit (Anthony Kustura) for being late for a very important date. Photo by S.K. Stone Photography.Based on the original story by Lewis Carroll, "Alice" is augmented by more characters to allow a larger cast. A Daffodil (Leanne Fawkes of Seaside) and a Pool of Tears (Carleta Lewis Allen of Knappa, Camille Marsh of Warrenton and Alyssa Kindred of Astoria) join some of the traditional characters, such as the White Rabbit (Anthony Kustura of Astoria), Small Alice (McKenzie Hutson of Seaside), Middle Alice (Jessica Hoffman of Warrenton) and Tall Alice (Kaitlin Oja of Astoria). The Tiger Lily is played by Jasmine Vasion of Cathlamet, and Keesha Roberts of Long Beach, Wash., dances the Cheshire Cat. One hundred and five other dancers round out the cast of bunnies, flowers, oysters, lobsters and peacocks.

Choreographers Wendy Vasion, Stephanie Olds, Alice Thompson and Peterson used music from the original score and added pieces by Leon Minkus, Adam and Rodgers and Hammerstein to portray the characterizations in movement. The costumes have been adapted from the original plates and boast some ingenious sewing by Debra Barbic, who created the unique headpieces for the Dodo Bird, oysters and many more. Knappa artist Dorothy Danielson designed and built the sets, including 7- and 8-foot flowers, toadstools and a rabbit hole.

"Alice" will first be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12, with one can of food for the Clatsop County Food Bank as admission price.

Part 1 of the studio's recitals feature ballet, tap and jazz students of all ages in a fast-paced show at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12.

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13, Part 2 of the recitals showcases the youngest dancers from the studio as well as the second performance of "Alice in Wonderland."

Part 3 opens at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13 and features all ages of dance students, kindergartners through adults. Tickets for each of the recital shows are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

The box office will open one hour before each performance. Little Ballet Theatre will be offering refreshments and operating a gift boutique in the lobby as a benefit for its scholarship foundation. For information, call (503) 861-1971 or (503) 738-5983.


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