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Watch Meryl Streep in a trippy stage interpretation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

The Juice
November 15, 2012

Being a three-time Oscar winner, Meryl Streep is not the sort of actress you would imagine getting high on stage. But in 1981, just three movies into her career, the "Iron Lady" star did just that -- in character, anyway.

Earlier this week, Open Culture found vintage footage of Streep in the musical "Alice at the Palace," a stage version of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," in which the titular heroine, under the influence of mushrooms, meets a variety of creatures.

Streep sports wild hair and pink overalls and does cartwheels down the stage at the 1981 New York Shakespeare Festival (the production was turned into a TV movie in 1982) as she performs the song "Eating Mushrooms."

"I have never been in such a state before," Streep sings. "I suppose this is a regular day if you're mad."

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Though she was only in her early 30s at the time, the "Iron Lady" star had already been nominated for an Academy Award for her first role, in 1978's "Deer Hunter," and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her third film, 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer."

In 1982, a year after appearing in "Alice," Streep went on to win the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as a Polish Auschwitz survivor in "Sophie's Choice."

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Though she went on to carve out a successful film career, the 63-year-old thespian is still a big supporter of theatre. Just last month, Streep donated $1 million to New York's Public Theater, her old stomping ground, to honour its founder, late director Joseph Pap (the man behind "Alice at the Palace"), and late author Nora Ephron, who directed Streep in "Julie and Julia."

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