October 2015 | Barbara Basbanes Richter

Ten Days in Wonderland

Earlier this year I mentioned that New York City had fallen under the spell of Alice in Wonderland, and this week the birthday celebrations for the 150-year-old classic reach maximum intensity. Starting today, members of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA) arrive in New York for their annual meeting and to host their two-day conference, "Alice in Popular Culture." Though this and other events are completely booked, there's plenty of Carrollian programming for visitors to behold. Below, a sampling of activities for the next few days that are open to the public:

Jessie Willcox Smith's illustration of Alice s...

Jessie Willcox Smith's illustration of Alice surrounded by the characters of Wonderland. (1923) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*Friday, October 2: The New York Public Library for Performing Arts opens Alice Live!, an exhibit that traces the history of Alice in Wonderland in live performance, starting with the first professional stage production of the story in London in 1866. (Through January 16.)
*Friday, October 2: Have your ticket ready for the Museum of Mathematics' Alice birthday party with an adults-only night at the museum. Registration for Unbounded: An Evening at MoMath - The Art and Magic of Alice is required, but includes one free drink. (Subsequent potions available for purchase.) Doors open at 7:30. Costumes welcome.
*Saturday, October 3: Head over to the Sony Wonder Technology Lab for a screening of Behind the Scenes of "Alice in Wonderland," and take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Disney's live-action version of the story. This 14-minute film is shown every half hour.
*Sunday, October 4: Examine Carroll's original manuscript (on loan from the British Library) at the Morgan's Alice: 150 Years in Wonderland. Runs through October 12.                      
*Monday, October 5: The Grolier Club is particularly busy this week, hosting an exhibition exploring the translation of Alice into over 170 languages and a two-day colloquium on the 7th and 8th. The exhibition, Alice in a World of Wonderlands runs in conjunction with the recent publication of a three-volume analysis dedicated to the challenges posed in translating the story.

Still not enough? Can't get to New York? How about a little musical celebration: Boston-based nonprofit Foundwaves collected new songs and art inspired by each chapter of Alice in Wonderland, and everything is accessible here. Listen to Max and the Groovies sing "Drink Me," or an ode to Chapter 9 called "The Mock Turtle's Story" by Hi Lo Ha. The overall sound and look of these tributes are perfectly trippy.
John Tenniel`s original (1865) illustration fo...

John Tenniel's original (1865) illustration for Lewis Carroll`s "Alice in Wonderland." Alice sitting between Gryphon and Mock turtle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)