Theater for the New City presents a story that melds Lewis Carroll's Alice books to the mostly untold true tales of Prohibition era Queer New York subculture.
John and Jane Allison are newlyweds in New York City in 1929. Although they love each other, they have desires they haven’t even acknowledged to themselves, let alone explored. But after giving her neighbor Roberta White a kiss, Jane goes 'down the rabbit hole,' entering the strange world of a Speakeasy, where time and space and identity don’t appear to follow conventional rules. On accepting a sexual proposition in a public men’s room, John mysteriously slides 'through the looking glass,' and in one fantastical magical realist dream night, they explore their sexuality through the course of two simultaneous and intertwining magical adventures.
"'Ambitious' seems such a tame adjective to apply to 'Speakeasy'...But how else to describe a show that boasts a cast of 23 who perform 40 songs over the course of an evening that runs close to four hours?...Within its massive sprawl, there lies an intriguing tale of queer life during the Roaring 20s...It is, however, hard to picture a life for 'Speakeasy' beyond this production, until and unless someone finds a way to shrink it down to size."