Fringe 2009 – Top 20 – #12 – Alice Unwrapped


If you removed that gun from my head and I could see another 10 Fringe shows, what would they be and why?


Nautilus Music-Theater

Alice Unwrapped

Fifteen year-old Alice Bliss is trying to cope:

Dad’s missing in action,

Mom won’t come out of her bedroom,

and her precocious little sister just wants a normal family.

Somebody needs to take charge.

Alice Unwrapped tells the story of 15-year-old Alice Bliss and her efforts to hold her family together while her reservist father is missing in action during the Iraq war. This piece explores what happens to those left at home while loved ones go off to fight. Alice is inappropriately left “in charge” of her mother and sister during her father’s absence. She responds by frantically taking over while defensively protecting herself with homemade armor. Her 9-year-old genius sister eventually persuades her to release her fears, let go of her perfectionism, and forgive herself. Through music and words, seasoned with both humor and passion, Alice Unwrapped explores issues of responsibility, fear of intimacy, protection, appropriate family boundaries, and the spirituality of compassion.

Many’s the time I’ve sung the praises of Nautilus Music-Theater in the past in this blog. Fringe time, there seemed to always be someone who was associated with Nautilus who was worth noting because of that connection. It spoke to the certainty that high quality musical performance would be involved in the production.

Well, oddly enough, I checked my past lists and Nautilus itself has never been in the Top 20 before.

Time to fix that glaring oversight.

And no better year to do it than one in which director and Nautilus guru Ben Krywosz is teaming up again with the wonderful singer-actress Jill Anna Ponasik.

They did so before on the Nautilus Fringe show…

2004 – From The Diary of Virginia Woolf

and more recently in the Fringe with Jill Anna’s solo project…

2007 – Loss of Breath

This production, Alice Unwrapped, got a first run during the recent Spirit in the House festival, where it was (not surprisingly) well-received by audiences. No reason to expect less here in the Fringe remount.

I love listening to Jill Anna sing. And if Ben’s in the director’s chair, that’s just added incentive to go.

Their new website –

and Jill Anna’s website –

Their show page