“Cinderella,” the panto version, is Art Center Theater’s holiday production

The final show of the 2018 season for the Ojai Art Center Theater is “Cinderella,” an off-the-wall, music hall remake of the classic fairy tale in the style of an English panto. This hilarious musical combines a smidgen of suggestive, topical humor for adults with delightful music, a dancing bear, and a chorus-line of Bo-Peep sheep in a Bob Fosse dance formation that kids will love. The production opens November 30 and is presenting two matinees per weekend for this show. Tickets are onsale November 1 at OjaiACT.org.
“I’ve spent a few Christmases in London with family over the years,” said producer Lin Coleman, “and a panto is a must-see tradition. You can catch them in London starring national celebrities and in nearly every village where the theatre produces their own version with local celebrities. Kids love them as they are interactive and fast-paced, a hilarious mix of fairytale and vaudeville. Our production utilizes the panto traditions by integrating loads of local references, surprising gender swapping roles and a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” sense of humor which will fly over the heads of kids but keep the adults in stitches.” 
Many Americans are unfamiliar with this classic English art form. The panto form goes all the way back to the Tudor era of England, when this farcical style became a holiday tradition that lives right up to the present. A panto is a traditional fairy tale complete with songs, dances, jokes, exaggerated characters and lots of audience participation—great for all family members.
It’s an outrageously fun show, best described by reviews from previous productions of this Kate Hawley version:  “an enormously entertaining and irreverent comedy that delights in crossing barriers, including the one between audience and actors.”  Or this:  “accomplishes the challenging trick of entertaining children and adults alike…”  “a refreshing change of pace from traditional holiday fare…”  “Cinderella” hits the sweet spot that’s so often missed in family shows.  Intelligent and buoyant, lyrical and silly, it plays to real people instead of an age-targeted, holiday-market demographic.”
“Cinderella” opens November 30 and closes December 16.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00.  Bring the whole family for some delightful holiday laughter and song! Tickets online at OjaiACT.org.

CINDERELLA – Denise Heller
EVIL STEP MOTHER – Marisa Miculian
GONERIL – Marilyn Lazik
REGAN – Sheila McCarthy
BUTTONS – Poosy Holmes  
FAIRY GOD MOTHER – Sindy McKay-Swerdlove
BARON – Susan Keligian
KING – Coree Kotula 
QUEEN – Joyce McWilliams
DANDINI – Bodhi Bourbon
LITTLE BO PEEP – Michael McCarthy
John Valenzuela
Don Gaidano
Lenny Klaif 
DIRECTOR – Rick Kuhlman 
PRODUCER – Lin Coleman  
MUSIC – Jaye Hersh
COSTUMES – Janna Valenzuela
PROPS – Kitty Bartholomew
STAGE MANAGER  – Wenona Guthrie

Weekends November 30 – December 16
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm
Ojai Art Center Theater
113 S. Montgomery Street
Ojai, CA 93023

Parking available evenings at Cafe Emporium across the street.

Run of the play tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors, and people 25 and under at $10
Tickets are available online at www.OjaiACT.org or call to reserve at 805-640-8797.

About the Ojai Art Center Theater…

The Ojai Art Center is the longest continuously-operating multi-disciplinary center serving the arts in the State of California. Opened in 1939, the Center has eight branches for the various art disciplines. Most active is the Theater Branch, which presents a variety of dramatic productions, ranging from comedy to drama and musicals, annually. The branch has its own directors and monthly meetings to address all theater-related issues. The Artistic Director annually screens proposals for future productions and presents a tentative schedule for approval to the Center’s Board of Directors.

Ojai Art Center is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The Ojai Art Center Theater is located inside the Art Center at:
113 South Montgomery Steet
Ojai, California 93023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *