Soft Porn Corn

Spoofing a spoof: the lewd and ludicrous “Alice in Wonderland”

Bill Osco, the 1970s pornography pioneer, is credited with possibly creating “the worst American film of the century.”

Although the flick in question is the non-porn “Night Patrol,” starring Linda Blair and Pat Paulson, this dishonor arguably applies as well to Osco’s X-rated movies “Flesh Gordon” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Amazingly enough, both sleaze fests managed to gross a combined whopping $165 million worldwide, proving that bad taste translates into good business.

Well, the salacious writer/producer/director is back with his first play, an Off-Broadway musical adaptation of 1977’s wicked “Alice in Wonderland,” which re-imagines Alice as a sexual neophyte on a titillating journey of self-discovery and carnal knowledge. The play, writhing with scantily clad, busty babes and horny bastards, is little more than a burlesque gone awry.

Surely, Lewis Carroll is once again spinning in his grave.

This goofy mishmash of a musical comedy is prescribed for “mature audiences” due to “full nudity,” but don’t be fooled. The real target audience is the juvenile, Howard Stern set––or lecherous men ashamed to be seen at the Baby Doll Lounge. Predictably, only women bare all or nearly all; any male genitalia displayed are strictly of the phony dildo variety.

The playbill implores theatergoers to “turn off all cell phones, pagers, PDAs, alarms, and vibrators.” It’s that kind of a show.

As in the film, blonde and wide-eyed Alice (Danielle Stephens) is a virgin on the cusp of womanhood, much to her boyfriend’s dismay. She lives with her boozed-up mamma in a trailer park in Weehawken, New Jersey and daddy is long gone.

Wearing a white halter top and skimpy low-rise cut-offs, Alice dreams that a giant Rabbit (Kris Kloss) lures her into his drug-filled domain of iniquity, as she dozes while reading––what else–– “Alice in Wonderland. ”

In “Wonderland,” all the denizens are oversexed and eager to debauch. The subway rats lick naked Alice silly. The Jewish hashish-smoking Caterpillar (Jeremy Ebenstein) teaches Alice how to give a mean hand job and rewards her with a palmful of green spooge. The Mad Hatter (Nathan Freeman), whose schlong is even bigger than his top hat, entices Alice to orally pleasure him. The Cheshire “Pussy” is a voracious lesbian.

Especially beguiling is the Dutchess (Marthia Sides), a dominatrix who boasts a fully loaded dungeon with enough toys and contraptions to even make gay porn king Chi-Chi La Rue squirm. Her naughty song, “Spank That Ass,” provoking Alice to squeal “I love you Daddy” during a good thrashing, is the sickest, and best, in the show.

The King, gamely played by Travis Wojcik, a real-life bodybuilding champ, fitness magazine model, and ESPN star, is a well-oiled, perky-nippled hunk with miles of muscles. He has a penchant for pumping young women, including an unsuspecting member of the audience, high above his head. With his oafish Arnold Schwarzenegger accent and bulging leather pants, he injects a welcome shot of comic steroids into the proceedings with “In Wonderland,” a rap about Terminators, Hummers, and “gubernatorial erections.”

Also amusing is Jamie Greco as the lanky, kinky Queen––yeah, Jamie is a dude––who decrees that Alice must enter her infamous felching contest. Mercifully, that scene is left to the imagination. This royal control freak relishes putting Alice on trial, demanding she answer the unanswerable, “Who’s your Daddy?” Somehow this loony climactic court scene, with all cast members on hand, improvising here and there, captures the frenetic tea-party-on-Tina mayhem of Mr. Carroll’s original story.

The nubile Danielle Stephens plays Alice with a likable vulnerability. Her throaty songs, such as the bittersweet “Innocence” and “Growing Up” exude a Gypsy Rose Lee brand of defiant confidence. Like Alice, Stephens must be wondering how she got herself into this lusty mess.

The lively musical numbers—of which the show could use a few more—were composed by Tay Uhler, known for scoring reality shows for Fox TV, and Wah Wah Watson, who has worked with all the Motown greats, from the Supremes to Marvin Gaye.

The scenic design by Josh Iacovelli, made up of large painted murals, is eyepoppingly simple. The contrast of Alice’s stark black and white home set against the Keith-Haring-meets-Peter-Max Wonderland set, with its psychedelic stylized boobs, lips, and phalluses, is striking.

Regrettably, “Alice in Wonderland” can’t decide if it’s soft porn with pretensions of satire or a satire dressed (or, undressed, as it were) as soft porn.

Wonderland is portrayed as a sexual paradise with “no boundaries” and “no judgments.” Varied forms of sexual expression—including same-sex (lesbian only, naturally), bestiality (are caterpillars beasts?), and S&M—are encouraged. Religion, despised as the root of all evils, is banned.

Along the way, characters teach Alice precious life lessons like “Trust your own judgment” and “Know yourself” and, while not actually verbalized, “Love the one you’re with.” There’s even a gratuitous reference to Al Quaeda.

Note to the sex-starved: although there are gobs of sexual situations, don’t expect to be aroused in any big way.

Toward the end of the show, Alice, upon saying her farewells and aglow with newfound wisdom, is warned by her new friends, Las Vegas style, “What you do in Wonderland, stays in Wonderland.” Despite the show’s sporadic perverse charms, Osco may have done better to heed his own words.

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