A Hip Hop Alice in Wonderland

Yo’ Alice

Loosely based upon Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland” & “Through The Looking Glass”

In Yo’ Alice, Lewis Carroll’s young heroine is embodied by an Alice of color, set in 1999. A mean Queen of R&B dominates all prompting Alice to find her voice under a diva’s dictatorship.

Cast Size: 10 Males, 8 Females, Numerous Ensemble Roles

Setting: Circa 1999 – An Upper Class Home; an Inner City Highschool; a Hip Hop Wonderland

  • Formerly optioned by Radio City Entertainment/Madison Square Garden
  • Formerly optioned as a screenplay by Brian Major
  • Cast Album recorded by Silverboy Records (unreleased)
  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums
  • Guitar 
  • Percussion 
  • Trumpet 
  • Trombone
  • Winds (Sax, Flute, Oboe) 
  • Synthesizer

Set in 1999, Yo’ Alice” is a soulful adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” When her lawyer parents undergo a divorce, a teenaged girl of color rebels against her upper-middle-class lifestyle by applying to an inner-city arts school instead of the one her parents have chosen. As her home life crumbles, she is suddenly thrust into a new world at the urban arts school; she feels she does not belong but manages to keep the secret from her busy parents. While attempting to keep up in a dance routine, she is knocked unconscious and awakens to a rapping, tall White Rabbit! Their journey begins—an urban, soulful, pop-cultural retelling of “Alice in Wonderland”/”Through the Looking Glass,” leading Alice to reclaim her identity and voice as her family heals toward a new normal.

Lee Summers – Bio

(Book Writer/Co-Composer, Co-Lyricist)

 

In 2021, Lee Summers, in collaboration with a team of Steinhardt creatives and technicians, cast, created, wrote, filmed, and edited the virtual musical, Storm A Musical Tribute to the late Timothy Graphenreed. Storm featured a cast of twenty-four Steinhardt Vocal Music Program students and was well-received by the students and the department. 

Professionally, Lee Summers’ works have received nominations and wins for over twenty AUDELCO AWARDS, including two wins for “Best Musical” and two wins for “Best Director of a Musical.” Additional accolades include the New Professional Theatre’s “Our Voices Award,” a Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award, a New York “Bistro Award,” Broadway World’s “Best Director of a Musical” award, and numerous New York Musical Theatre Festival Awards.

His musicals have been selected for development by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, and Connecticut’s Live & in Color. They have also been produced and presented by various New York and regional theaters. Summers served as the creator and lead producer of Off-Broadway’s “From My Hometown.” His Broadway debut as a performer was in the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls.” Acting credits also include appearances in Blue Bloods, Law and Order, Boardwalk Empire, Malcolm X, and others.

An alum of HBCU Tennessee State University and SUNY Empire State College, Summers holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Currently, he serves as an Arts Professor at NYU/Steinhardt’s School of Music and Arts Professions. Explore more about Lee Summers and his works at Leesummersshows.com

Timothy Graphenreed – Bio

(Co-Composer, Co-Lyricist, Musical Supervisor, Vocal & Dance Arranger, Orchestrator)

 

The late Timothy Graphenreed best known for composing The Tornado, The Funky Monkey, and Emerald City Ballet in the Mega Broadway hit “The Wiz”. He is a member of ASCAP and has worked with several multi-talented Director/Choreographers including Michael Peters, Maurice Hines, Pat Birch, Hinton Battle, Louis Johnson, Debbie Allen, Henry Letang, Mercedes Ellington, Otis Sallid and Tony Award winner, George Faison. He has also musically arranged for several Notables including Gregory Hines; Bill Cosby; Jennifer Holiday; Phylicia Rashad; Jeff Goldblum; Robert Downey, Jr.; Maya Angelou; Martha Plimpton; Valerie Simpson; Darlene Love; Robert Townsend; Morgan Freeman; Charles Strouse; Shirley Maclaine; Ben Vereen; Jennifer Lewis; Melba Moore; Lalo Shriffin; Nick Ashford; Peobo Bryson and Patti Austin to name a few.

 

His list of theatrical and Broadway credits includes Musical Direction, Composition, Vocal and Dance Arrangements & Orchestrations for “The Wiz”, “Comin’ Uptown”, “Sing Mahailia Sing”, “Leader Of The Pack”, “Mooney Shapiro Songbook”, “To Sir With Love”, “Bona Fortuna” starring Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy from “Fame”), “Pride And Joy”, “The Apollo…. It Was Just Like Magic”, “American Passion”, “Golden Boy”, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”, and “Come On And Hear!” [A New Irving Berlin Musical. He was also the Dance Arranger for Mercedes Ellington’s “Twist”. He served as Dance Arranger for the “The Mancini Project” based on the music of Henry Mancini directed by Otis Sallid. He is Musical Director for D.D. Verni and Hinton Battle’s “The Bronx Casket Company.

 

Maurice Hines – Bio

(Conceived by)

 

Choreographer, dancer, actor and director Maurice Hines, Jr. was born in New York City. He is the brother of the late jazz tap dancer and actor, Gregory Hines. Hines began studying tap dancing in New York City at age five at the Henry LeTang Dance Studio in 1948. LeTang realized his pupil’s gift for dance and began choreographing numbers tailored for Hines and his younger brother Gregory.

In 1954, when Hines was 10 years old, he and Gregory appeared in the Broadway musical comedy The Girl in Pink Tights. Following in the footsteps of the famed Nicholas brothers, they soon began appearing on stage throughout the country. They toured as the opening act for such headliners as Lionel Hampton and Gypsy Rose Lee. Their father joined the act as a drummer, and the threesome became known as Hines, Hines & Dad, performing to rave reviews in New York, Las Vegas and Europe. They made television appearances on The Pearl Bailey Show, Hollywood Palace and appeared 35 times on The Tonight Show.

In 1973, Hines began his solo career singing and dancing as Nathan Detroit in the hit musical National Touring Company of Guys and Dolls with Debbie Allen and Richard Roundtree. After his performance, Hines created a sensation in the hit Broadway musical Eubie, which opened at the Ambassador Theatre in New York on September 20, 1978 and closed October 7, 1979. The show also starred his brother Gregory and was choreographed by Henry LeTang. In 1981, Hines returned to Broadway with his performance in Bring Back Birdie with Chita Rivera. That same year, he also appeared in Sophisticated Ladies. 

Turning his talents to the big screen, Hines made his film debut in 1984, in Francis Ford Coppola’s Cotton Club and during that same time with Mercedes Ellington formed Ballet Tap USA, a dance company. In 1986, he conceived, directed, choreographed, and starred in the musical Uptown…It’s Hot!. The show played for seventeen sold-out weeks in Atlantic City before moving to Broadway where Hines received a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical. He went on to direct several theater productions including the National Tour of the musical Harlem Suite with leading ladies Jennifer Holiday, Stephanie Mills and Melba Moore and internationally the musical Havana Night in Cuba. 

 

 

Writer’s Representation: Gray Schwartz LLP |Tel: (212) 966-6700

West 25th Street – 6th Floor,  New York, NY 10001

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