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TPNC holiday 'panto' tradition continues

Published 11:53 am, Wednesday, November 27, 2013
  • The Town Players of New Canaan will stage "Trouble In Pantoland" by Sharon Hulm at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in Waveny Park Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    The Town Players of New Canaan will stage "Trouble In Pantoland" by Sharon Hulm at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in Waveny Park Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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The Town Players of New Canaan, the only area theater to perform a British "panto" every year for its family holiday show, will stage "Trouble In Pantoland," by Sharon Hulm, at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in Waveny Park.

Performances are 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15.

"The tradition continues," said director Patrick Kiley, "because the cast, crew and audiences of all ages have a great time. It's pure joy."

Kiley and musical director Ken Knox each are working on their eighth panto at the Powerhouse. Choreographer Lauren Nicole Sherwood also is a panto veteran.

"The show features fresh faces, rousing new songs and a frolicking plot," said co-producer Sheri Dean.

"Of course, we preserve the things that make pantos so fun and unique: fairy-tale characters, vaudeville-style shtick, cross-dressing, and enthusiastic audience participation."

In this year's plot, the Evil Wizard casts a spell on classic panto heroes, including Prince Charming and Aladdin, and the heroines, including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, side with the Evil Queen to set them free.

"Basically, all the favorite panto characters are in this one show," said co-producer Cheryl Petrone.

Of the 27 performers, nine are from New Canaan: Steven Whitaker, Robert Avery, James Avery, Noah Avery and chorus members Emily Barnard, Allison Fitzpatrick, Madison Grenauer, Virginia Smith and Fiona Stevens.

A Marine will attend the 2:30 p.m. performance Saturday, Dec. 7, to collect new, unwrapped toys for the Toys For Tots program. At that performance, children bringing toys will enter for free.

Tickets are $10 and can purchased by visiting www.tpnc.org or calling 203-966-7371.