Editor’s note: Given the rapid spread of the coronavirus omicron variant, please heed local health authorities’ safety recommendations as they’re updated, and check your event’s website for coronavirus requirements and the latest information.
What’s Happening Jan. 14-20
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the magical (and equally spooky) world of “Alice in Wonderland,” then your opportunity is closer than ever — in fact, the rabbit hole is nestled right on Capitol Hill.
The Alice Immersive Cocktail Experience, hosted by Cure Cocktail (1449 E. Pine St., Seattle) is a 90-minute immersive tea party where guests get to solve riddles, create their own cocktails and enjoy the magic of characters like the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. Think of it like a dinner-and-a-show event … except instead of dinner, you get cocktails, and instead of a movie, you get live improv!
On a recent Thursday, I visited The Alice to see what this tea party was all about. Upon entering The Alice, guests are immediately whisked away into what could be the set of an “Alice in Wonderland” movie. There’s a larger-than-life Cheshire Cat wall, his whimsical grin illuminated in teal light. Playing cards of all sizes adorn the walls, floors and ceilings of the space, as well as proper tea party equipment like cups and pots, florals and lace tablecloths, of course. Even the actors speak in British accents!
After a welcome shot topped with whipped cream and an “Eat Me” cookie, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare get down to business. With each guest assigned a playing card as their new identity, riddles were given to each party, and we had to get up, walk around, search for clues and solve them — they weren’t kidding when they said “immersive.” With each riddle solved, we received the ingredients to make the first cocktail, a pot of tea served “steaming” with a little help from dry ice.
“Being able to make people laugh and have a good time, it’s just something you haven’t seen in a long time. People have been very quiet and distant and in their heads, so being able to come somewhere and have a good time and loosen up a bit with some little tasty beverages, and laugh at something that you weren’t even sure that you were gonna laugh at, I think that’s one of the most important things for both the cast and the audience,” said Cameron DeWitt Ruiz, who played the Mad Hatter during the performance I attended.
There are 21 shows a week, so the intimate cast of 10 actors — who all train to play each role — were “quickly able to create a little Alice family and team of support,” Ruiz said, adding that “having that camaraderie back is elevating all of our happiness levels as a whole, which is something that we just haven’t felt for a long time.”
Back at our tables, the Mad Hatter and March Hare had exited stage left, and we were greeted by the Red Queen and a judge. A few “Off with their heads!” later, guests were given the final drink — and this one we got to paint!
You may be wondering how you can paint a cocktail. Trust me, I wondered that, too. Our cocktails had a foamy layer on top on which each participant used a paintbrush to draw a picture of their choice. The Red Queen picked her favorite picture, and that guest received a surprise drink.
Hannah Morin, The Alice location manager and actor, describes the experience as “magical, campy and giggly. … It’s such a gift for myself and the cast to be able to perform and be present for the community again. It’s like sprinkling a little joy in everyone’s day,” Morin said.
Overall, The Alice is a great way to spend 90 minutes for fans of the fantasy and for people who are just looking for something to do.
The Alice (1449 E. Pine St., Seattle) runs until Feb. 27. For those under 21, there are family-friendly performances of The Alice on weekend mornings. Tickets are $45 per person. Find more information: st.news/thealice.
What else is happening
Here are some other events happening Jan. 14-20 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, fill out the form at the bottom of the post. Please check event websites for more information, including coronavirus requirements.
Ways of Whales Workshop — Jan. 15
Orca Network presents a virtual workshop to celebrate new southern resident calf L125 Element, remember L47 Marina and K21 Cappuccino and honor the community scientists who have contributed whale sightings in 2021, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The webinar will feature presentations by ecosystem experts and advocates, as well as musical guest Dana Lyons. Register online; $35, $25/students/seniors. orcanetwork.org
Whole Hog Butchery Class — Jan. 15
Join chef Seamus Platt of Norcino Salumi (previously of The Shambles) on Hogstead Farm to learn the basics of whole hog butchery from 1-4 p.m. The day includes a tour of the farm and a discussion of raising pastured pigs; butchering a whole hog and talking about various muscles and cooking applications; and making fresh sausage to take home. Warm clothing and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty are required. Purchase tickets online; $120. 13204 19th Ave. N.E., Marysville; instagram.com/chefseamusplatt
So You Want to Write Children’s Books? — Jan. 18
King County Library System presents a virtual class presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for adults who want to learn about writing and publishing books for children at 5:30 p.m. Learn about mining for stories, developing memorable characters, the business of publishing and more. Register online; free. kcls.org
“Alegría” — Jan. 18-March 13
Cirque du Soleil returns to Seattle with “Alegría” — an entirely redesigned fan favorite. This immersive experience whisks audience members away to a world sprinkled with visual poetry and acrobatics. Purchase tickets online; $50-$90. 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond; 877-924-7783; cirquedusoleil.com/alegria
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Album Release Tour — Jan. 18-20
Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro and his band The Painkillers celebrate the release of the new album “A Bluesman Came to Town — A Blues Odyssey” in Seattle and Tacoma. Purchase tickets online for Seattle’s show at The Triple Door and Tacoma’s McMenamins Spanish Ballroom show; prices vary. 216 Union St., Seattle; 565 Broadway, Tacoma; tommycastro.com
Is It a Zoo or Is It a Garden? Tales of Zoological Horticulture — Jan. 19
Bellevue Botanical Garden hosts a virtual presentation with Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium horticulturist, arborist and landscape designer Byron Jones on gardening with primates, wolves and other animals at 7 p.m. Jones seeks to understand the details of what makes specific plants work in an animal’s natural habit, and then he translates that into growing them successfully in personal gardens. Purchase tickets online; $10.50/members, $15/nonmembers. bellevuebotanical.org