The Town Players of New Canaan celebrates the holidays with panto version of 'Snow White"™
Published 2:23 pm, Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Produced by Phyllis Jordan and Virginia Andriopoulos Yost, the Town Players of New Canaan will celebrate the holidays with an upbeat family show good for all ages, James Barry's panto version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
"Snow White," the panto, is a spoof of the fairy tale, filled with singing, dancing, slapstick, audience participation and topical jokes, which young children will enjoy at face value, while teen agers and adults will pick up the double entendre. Prince Valiant meets Snow White in the woods of Fairyland but must overcome the nasty plot of Queen Evilynn before winning Snow White's hand. Clarissa, the dame role, and her silly son Muddles provide spirited comedy as do the seven dwarfs who come to Snow White's aide while an animated mirror wittily comments on who's the fairest of them all. Short of throwing tomatoes, the audience gets involved -- yelling out lines, helping the heroes, jeering the villains and even joining in the songs. "Snow White" is ideal for birthday and family holiday parties.
Performances take place on Friday, Dec. 3 and 10, at 8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, at 2:30 p.m. at the Powerhouse Theatre, Waveny Park, New Canaan. Tickets are $10. Call 203-966-7371 to reserve tickets. At the Saturday, Dec. 4 matinee Toys for Tots benefit, the price of admission for children is one new, unwrapped toy for a child 6 months old to 12 years old. Before the show, after depositing the present in the Town Players' Merry Wives of Windsor wicker basket, each child shakes hands with a U.S. Marine, and at the beginning of the play the Marines make a cameo performance.
In an instance of sublime versatility, Tom Butterworth, who has appeared in Town Players productions as Niels Bohr in "Copenhagen," as Sir Thomas More the Town Players' production of Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons," is switching gears and will cavort across the Snow White stage in the dame role of Clarissa, a vision of pulchritude.
"What's in a dame?" asks Town Players' President Robert Doran. "When Oscar Hammerstein penned the lyrics, `There is nothing like a dame," I don't think he had English panto in mind. Our `dames' are not `soft and wavy', rather, they are comic villains played by men in drag -- a key element of the panto tradition."
"Lest you think this is a case of the clothes making the man (or woman in this case), let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth," said Doran. "Playing the dame takes amazing talent and, above all, an innate sense of comic timing and an ability to sell the double entendre -- another essential element of panto. I actually think it is one of the most difficult roles in theatre. One has only to look at some of our recent dames to find three of the best actors in the area willing to go out on a limb to have some family fun and, of course to entertain: Kyle Runestad as Mother Goose in 2008, Andrew Morris as Auntie Septic in Goldilocks in 2009, and now Tom Butterworth as Clarissa in Snow White."