The Cultch and Theatre Replacement are keeping the holiday tradition of East Van Panto alive for 2020! Panto Come Home!, is a live-streamed remixed holiday extravaganza that combines the best of all seven East Van Pantos, the York Theatre, and 350 pounds of past costumes!
Streaming online December 17 – 27, 2020, Panto Come Home! finds Theatre Replacement’s Artistic Directors James Long and Maiko Yamamoto sneaking into the York to find the very sad pyjama clad Veda Hille parked at her piano. Seems she’s moved into the theatre and has been spending her days trying to relive Panto memories of old. In an attempt to cheer her up they call up a bunch of Panto friends to sing and dance the East Van Panto hits. Things go sideways fast when the Phanto of the Panto swoops in. He’s been watching these things ever since Jack and the Beanstock opened the York eight years ago, and has a few choice ideas of his own.
Like everything in 2020, the East Van Panto has had to pivot in new and exciting directions. In an ordinary year, The Cultch and Theatre Replacement, who have partnered since 2013 to bring audiences the East Van Panto, would have continued ‘business as usual’, but instead they are rising to a new challenge—bringing the Panto to the homes of thousands of patrons who have made the East Van Panto their must-see holiday tradition. And with that pivot comes many fortuitous benefits. “For years now people have been asking us to revive old songs from the Panto,” says co-director Maiko Yamamoto. “And we’re going to do it this year! We’re going to do a Best-Of Panto, so you can hear all of your favourite songs!”
An all-star cast of Panto actors from the last eight years returns to bring back the hits. Three Studio 58 students and a gaggle of physically distanced Panto Kids join Dawn Petten (Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Wizard of Oz), Donna Soares (Cinderella), Amanda Sum (Pinocchio), Shawn Macdonald (Pinocchio), and Mark Chavez (writer, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White) to belt out unforgettable tunes like ‘The Cheese Song’, ‘Randolph the Average Reindeer’, and ‘Souvenirs’. Theatre Replacement’s Maiko Yamamoto and James Long, who are the original creators of East Van Panto, take the directing reins for the first time, putting their stamp on returning playwright, Mark Chavez’s, remixed holiday extravaganza.
Panto Come Home! streams live from the York Theatre December 17 – 27, 2020.
Preview: Dec 17 @ 7 pm, Opening Night: Dec 18 @ 7 pm
Dec 19, 22, 26 @ 2pm / Dec 19, 23, 26 @ 7 pm / Dec 20, 27 @ 12pm
Tickets are on sale now, from $35, through The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or thecultch.com.