Through the enchanted viaduct and over to the York Theatre in East Vancouver, we find this year’s East Van Panto, Snow White & The Seven Dwarves.
For the fifth year, Theatre Replacement and The Cultch have teamed up to present a holiday treat for the whole family. Sticking to the traditional structure of a pantomime; take a children’s tale, add music, slapstick comedy, cross-dressing characters, topical jokes and pop-culture references and you’ve got an uproariously silly good time. East Van Panto takes Snow White, a goth teen, lock her up in her aerobic instructor stepmother’s West Vancouver home, whilst she longs for the freedom and hipness of East Van. As she escapes, Snow encounters a collection of East Van characters and locations. Ming Hudson’s Snow White is the centre of the show, a surprisingly grounded heroine who anchors the panto and allows the other crazy cavalcade of characters the freedom to be over the top. Allan Zinyk’s Wicked Stepmother is a scenery chewing, ridiculous villain, eliciting the well deserved boos and hisses of the audience.
Most of the actors play multiple roles throughout the show, creating some interesting and comedic moments when both of those roles are in the same scene. Amy Rutherford and Chirag Naik stand out in their supporting roles, both excelling in the slapstick comedy and music.
Veda Hille, also returning for a fifth year, music brilliantly combines modern pop and rock tunes with updated, topical lyrics that both move the story along but also bring up plenty of laughs. Set to tunes of Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child, Lorde’s Royals, Push It by Salt-n-Pepa, Lose Yourself from Eminem, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling and many more tracks lend familiarity while tickling your funny bone with hilarious lyrics.
Talking about what happens to Snow White along her journey may give away too much of the story will ruin some of the current affairs humour and characters so just go see East Van Panto for yourself and find out what happens to Snow White.
East Van Panto : Snow White & The Seven Dwarves runs until January 6th at York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver. Visit thecultch.com for information and to purchase tickets.