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Alice, Anne shine

Two heroines, both alike in dignity, are in fair Laguna, where we lay our scene.

They’re precocious girls whose imaginations run away with them, as well as being the subjects of beloved children’s books.

And they’re both being brought to local stages courtesy of youth production companies.

Alice (of Wonderland) will frolic in a Laguna Beach Dance Company production this weekend.

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Anne (of Green Gables) will enter the stage at the Laguna Playhouse next weekend.

In “Alice,” the title character falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy land featuring a time-deficient rabbit, a Cheshire Cat and a famous tea party.

The production is being presented by Laguna Beach High School’s resident dance company as their spring concert.

It’s choreographed by Leann Alduenda, Teresa Avina, Tod Kubo and Mychelle Perez; Kubo also serves as artistic director.

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Featuring dance techniques from tango to ballet, modern music and a vaguely-'70s costume aesthetic, the show is described as a “contemporary interpretation” of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and its sequel, “Through the Looking Glass.”

In “Anne of Green Gables,” a pair of middle-aged siblings who live on a farm decide to adopt an orphan boy to be a helper on their farm.

They inexplicably end up with 11-year-old Anne Shirley, who experiences a series of misadventures, makes friends and learns life lessons.

For actress Pamela Burrus, who plays the mother of Anne’s new friend Diana, the “Anne” production is close to her heart because she is a foster parent; one of her foster children attends rehearsals, and looks forward to performing in Youth Theatre productions in the future.

Claire Day, who portrays Anne’s foster mother Marilla in the play, spent some of her formative years in Nova Scotia, she said, which makes performing in this play special to her; it’s set on Prince Edward Island.

“Anne of Green Gables” is the final production of the Playhouse’s Youth Theatre season, and was adapted by R.N. Sandberg from the 1908 L.M. Montgomery novel.

It’s directed by Kelly Herman in her first major production; she’s the associate director of the youth theater.

Herman said the story is one of her favorites, so she’s excited to make her main-stage debut with it and what she described as her “dream cast.”

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