Neil Patrick Harris, Curt Hansen, Charlene Tilton, Ariana Grande Give Snow White the Panto Treatment in CA Dec. 12-30
By Kenneth Jones
Curt Hansen, of Broadway's Hairspray and Next to Normal, plays Snow White's Prince in an English-flavored "panto" production of A Snow White Christmas at Pasadena Playhouse, starting Dec. 12. Neil Patrick Harris appears in the onscreen role of The Magic Mirror, with Charlene Tilton of TV's "Dallas" as The Wicked Queen and Ariana Grande of TV's "Victorious" as Snow White.
The Pasadena Playhouse and Lythgoe Family Productions produce the family-friendly show that draws on English "panto" traditions — urging the audince to cheer, hiss and sing along to interpolated pop numbers. It's billed as the inaugural "Panto at The Playhouse" production, and runs to Dec. 30 at the Playhouse in Pasadena, CA.
A Snow White Christmas is directed by Bonnie Lythgoe ("So You Think You Can Dance") with choreography by Spencer Liff (Emmy nominee "So You Think You Can Dance") and musical direction by Michael Orland ("American Idol").
The principal cast also includes Jonathan Scott Meza as Muddles and David Figoli as Herman the Huntsman. Local children play The Seven Dwarfs. The dancers include Italo Egueta, Morgan Larsen, Janaya French, Clarice Ordaz, David Morales and Marc Spaulding.
"An updated version of the classic tale, in the style of a traditional British family panto, A Snow White Christmas features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing, a live miniature pony and contemporary music," according to Playhouse notes. Expect Katy Perry's "Firework" to Huey Lewis and the News' "Power of Love" to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and more. "Lythgoe Family Productions produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits 'American Idol' and 'So You Think You Can Dance,' the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairytales, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together."
Tilton played portly pepperpot Lucy Ewing on "Dallas" in the 1980s. Harris is the star of Broadway (Proof, Assassins) and television ("How I Met Your Mother," "Doogie Howser, M.D.") and film ("The Smurfs").
The book is by Kris Lythgoe, with scenic and costume design by Lythgoe Family Productions creative department (additional costume design by designer Julia Clancy, Donna Maas and Kleev Guessford, and additional scenic design by J.J. Wickham).
LFP producers include Kris Lythgoe, Bonnie Lythgoe, Becky Baeling and Jason Haigh-Ellery.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA. For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
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