Conceived by Maurice Hines,
Book By Lee Summers,
Music and Lyrics by: Timothy Graphenreed and Lee Summers
Cast Size: Eleven Females Singer/Actors, Eleven Male Singer/Actors
Musicians: Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar, Horn Section
Yo’ Alice! is loosely based upon Lewis Carroll's “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” We first meet Yo’ Alice's one-man Greek chorus, DJ Le Funksta, a rapper who opens the show. Time is present, location: "Washington Carver Performing Arts High School," where an array of teenagers performs the exciting opening production number, “Wassup”? We meet shy Alice, who sings “Where Do I Fit In?”. Then we meet principal, Melvina Matthews and faculty members, Mr. Romerez, Mr. Michaels, Ms. Mendoza and Dr. Mohammad. The faculty sings “What About Alice?” a melodic discussion of what must be done about Alice, a student once of great promise and musical talent who is nearly failing all her classes and contributing to the struggling school's dilemma of possibly losing eligibility for much needed government funding. We meet, Mr. Hooper, the school's always-late Drama Teacher. In “Gotta Find A Way,” he tries to inspire Alice insisting she join her peers rehearsing a dance routine where in doing so, Alice is accidentally knocked unconscious, awakening in Yo’ Alice's Wonderland. Alice meets Mc Hip Hop (Hooper), who now arrives as a taxi driving, White Rabbit; his cab made of three plus-sized back-up singing-dancers. Late, he performs “I Got Thangs Ta Do." In Yo’ Alice’s Wonderland, Alice meets nearly all of the iconic characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale and in the fashion of the mega hit, “The Wiz” they are reinvented in modern-day urban African American cultural context each providing conflict and challenges to Alice while the one-man Greek chorus, DJ Le Funksta is woven in and out of the action. Earlier seen students and teachers double as Wonderland characters: A Latino Cheshire Cat woman performs “A Woman Like Me” challenging Alice “to fake it til’ she makes it,” a homeboy caterpillar, Dr. Cat E. Pillar, PhD. offers a lesson of tolerance and change in “Mother Goose Had To Let It Loose,” hip hop twins Deeleedee and Deedleedum show Alice the result of too much curiosity in “Curious” - and three plus-sized lady cashiers at a McWonderburger’s restaurant teach Alice a lesson in total self acceptance in “Largely Lovely” before a Mad McPlaya-hatter joins a tea party where shy Alice is forced to entertain a Wonderland crowd for her life!
Lost, Alice performs a Rhythm and Blues up-tempo question: “Which Way Where What?” A singing-flower boy-group quartet, the Nature Boyz sing “Remember The Love in Your Heart” into their roof raising, “Do This!” then decide to make Alice the next contestant to go up against the evil queen of Rhythm and Blues (Principal Matthews). The Nature Boyz devise a plan to get Alice inside the Wonderland Apollo dressing rooms where the Queen soulfully sings to her court, “It's Tuff To Be The Queen.” Her partner is Tommy the King (Mr. Michaels) a prototype of a "record exec." Tommy thinks Alice could be his next meal ticket and secretly offers her a royally forbidden contract on Wonderland Records.
Yo’ Alice! expands into a R&B opera as melodic recitative weaves the subplots between Alice, Tommy the King, Mc Hip Hop, and the Queen Of Rhythm and Blues. We arrive at the "Wammy's" (Wonderland Grammy’s) held at Wonderland Apollo, where the Queen of Rhythm and Blues has declared herself as Wonderland Records' only new artist! Prior to taking the stage, it appears she destroys Mc Hip-Hop, in a lethal confrontation, as he defends Alice from her viscous attack. Before exiting, the queen venomously berates a terrified Alice, leaving her at rock bottom, crying in sad surrender. Alice is visited by the caterpillar who has transformed into an angelic butterfly, passionately singing “Believe in You,” to inspire her. As the queen reaches vocal climax performing “Ain’t No Winner Til' It's Over,” the latest of her self-proclaimed hits, surprisingly, a glamorous Alice re-emerges. Having found new strength and courage, Alice thrills all of Wonderland with her powerful pop anthem, “I Won't Cry,” triumphantly achieving victory over the Queen of Rhythm and Blues. Suddenly, we take a surreal glimpse at life in the Wonderland fast lane as Tommy the King whisks Alice into a music video shoot, record breaking record sales, press, TV, and magazine covers. As Alice and her dancers perform “I Won't Cry” disco remix, "Off with her head!" commands the Queen of Rhythm and Blues, having reached and exceeded her own boiling point. A thrilling Wonderland chase scene occurs, climaxing in the surprising rescue of Alice by MC Hip-Hop in his taxi. Alice awakens to "Yo’ Alice!, Yo’ Alice!..." finding herself back in reality in her school’s auditorium, surrounded by her peers. Alice is a changed girl realizing she must believe in herself and maybe she will reach her dreams; it's all inside of her. Alice, the faculty and her fellow students rehearse for their upcoming recital, which doubles as Yo’ Alice's high-energy finale celebration.