It’s the most hilarious time of the year!
Dive into East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid at The Cultch York Theatre until January 1, 2023.
Theatre Replacement’s 10th anniversary production of East Van Panto carries on the annual tradition of over-the-top hijinks and hilarity. Written by Sonja Bennet with music once again by Veda Hille, The Little Mermaid is directed by Meg Roe and brings back many familiar faces from Pantos past. Amanda Sum leads the cast as Ariel, in a role-reversal, a human daughter of Titan (Andrew Wheeler) who dreams of life under the sea. Joining her are Mark Chavez as her good friend Sebastian (still a hermit crab), Ghazal Azarbad does double duty as mermaid Eeer-k, as well as voicing and playing puppet side-kick Flouder (a surprisingly not-flat-fish), and Dawn Petten chews the scenery as the dastardly Queen of the Sea, Ursula. Veda Hille and Barry Mirochnick perform music onstage as Ursula’s ‘Eelchestra’ Flotsam and Jetsam. The ensemble of Studio 58 students; Kevin Nguyen, Abigail Padilla and Adam Weaver show there are other fish in the sea and assist this year’s rotation of adorably talented panto kids.
Set in the waters of New Brighton Park, East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid brings awareness to humankind’s treatment of our waters, while delivering its message in the usual tongue-in-cheek style, along with plenty of audience interaction. Along the way we are treated to an array of brilliantly re-worded pop songs including; I Love It by Icono Pop, Milkshake by Kelis, About Damn Time by Lizzo, giving plenty of pop, while Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now and Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill provide plenty of drama. Of course, any version of The Little Mermaid must leave us with it’s ear-worm inducing Under The Sea.
East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid audience may leave the York Theatre humming, but also leave smiling not just from the comedy on stage but also the communal joy shared with the audience, especially its younger members. Bring your whole family to East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid this holiday season, and be a part of Theatre Replacement and The Cultch 10th Anniversary. For tickets and show times visit thecultch.com