It’s back! East Van Panto returns for its 6th year at York Theatre for a 6-week holiday run of its latest production, Wizard of Oz. From now until January 6, 2019, come out and celebrate local theatre with Theatre Replacement and The Cultch’s latest pantomime production – a musical comedy parody of Wizard of Oz mixed with local references.
Poor Dorothy, who feels stuck living in small-town Port Coquitlam, gets transformed into the magical Land of Oz, aka East Van! Dorothy, along with Toto, venture off to meet the Wizard so she can find her way home, only to encounter some new friends and avoid being caught by the terrible Wicked Witch of Alberta! Be prepared for a night of laughs and cheers!
Pantomime is a type of musical comedy stage production designed for family entertainment. It allows for audience interaction. We were entertained with the notion that we were allowed to heckle the actors with boos when the villain appears, shouting out key phrases taught to us at the beginning of the show by a comical star playing our current Prime Minister!
East Van Panto’s Wizard of Oz was an unexpected night of family fun, full of political satire and jokes, references to local city stereotypes (Olympic Village is full of Lululemon wearing beer-loving munchkins!), and non-stop laughter by both adults and children in the audience. For my first panto theatre production, I couldn’t be anymore entertained! The show was a riot, and reminded me of the Saturday Night Live sketches on TV, but live and more local in satire and jokes!
East Van Panto welcomes celebrated playwright Marcus Youssef to the creative team. Director Stephen Drover (East Van Panto: Hansel & Gretel) returns, along with Panto favourites Veda Hille, Dawn Petten, and Raugi Yu. Featuring Craig Erickson, Kayvon Khoshkam, and Elbow Room Café: The Musical’s Christine Quintana! Kudos to the young talent on stage for playing the munchkins, non-flying chickens, and Toto – it’s always great to see the future generation of actors on stage!
If you haven’t had a chance to check out East Van Panto, you’re missing out. Luckily the show runs through the holidays and ends first week of January – so you still have time to check it out for yourself! For show schedule and tickets, visit: thecultch.com.