For its 9th year, East Van Panto reimagines Alice In Wonderland, adapted by playwright Sonja Bennett. Like most youth, Alice wants a mobile phone, but her mother says they’re for adults only. However, when Alice spots a White Rabbit advertising a free cellphone she heads after him, and down a Skytrain hole later she finds herself on Commercial Drive in the topsy turvy world of Granview-Woodland Wonderland. On her journey she meets, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, a grinning Cheshire Cat, and sleepy Dormouse, attends a leftist tea party, and above all tries to hang on to her head around the villainous Queen. Always topical and neighbourhood-centric, East Van Panto: Alice In Wonderland is no exception, tackling the struggles of local businesses against the effects of COVID, online competition, big tech’s privacy settings, as well as carrying a message empowering children.
Director Meg Roe has created a familiar world of fantasy of Commercial Drive, with many East Van Panto regular players returned for this edition. Dawn Petten is hilarious as Alice, Amanda Sum, Raugi Yu and Mark Chavez play an assortment of characters populating Wonderland, and newcomer Ghazal Azarbad makes a brilliant scenery-chewing debut as the Queen. Keep your eyes out for some returning favourite costumes too!
From BTS’ Butter, or Cell Block Tango, to Let It Go from Frozen, composer Veda Hille once again hilariously adapts the lyrics of pop-hits creating a soundtrack worth admission on its own. In true Panto tradition, the fun-for-all-ages show encourages audience interactions and of course, lots of laughter.
East Van Panto: Alice In Wonderland plays at The Cultch York Theatre until January 2, 2022. In-person tickets are on sale now, starting December 18th online performances allow even more families to laugh together at home.
For show and ticket details visit thecultch.com