The Scene

Jackie Block plays Meg Nolia to Tom Cleevely’s Phantom in The Phantom of the Panto, Clive Ramroop’s Christmas season spoof of a very famous musical, opening Wednesday (Nov. 28) at Surrey Arts Centre. - Contributed photo
Jackie Block plays Meg Nolia to Tom Cleevely’s Phantom in The Phantom of the Panto, Clive Ramroop’s Christmas season spoof of a very famous musical, opening Wednesday (Nov. 28) at Surrey Arts Centre.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Phantom of the Panto

Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s latest pantomime, The Phantom of the Panto opens Wednesday (Nov. 28) at Surrey Arts Centre.

The show, with 7:30 p.m. evening performances, runs until Dec. 9.

Following on the success of last year’s Beauty and the Beast (the CTC award-winner for best musical or pantomime production) the new show is an original written by regular FVGSS performer Clive ‘Hitman’ Ramroop, taking a page (or two) from the famed Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and reworking it in broad ‘panto’ style.

FVGSS pantos are known as family events both off stage and on and this year’s show is no exception, with some seven families represented by two or more members.

Tom Cleevely (The Phantom), for example, will be joined on stage by his daughter, Izabella, 15, a member of the large and enthusiastic chorus. And Chelsea Rose Tucker (Christine) is the daughter of musical director Timothy Tucker.

“It’s none of my doing,” said Tom Cleevely, of Izabella’s debut. “I’ve been involved in theatre for a while, and this time she said she would be auditioning, too – she seems to be having fun.”

“It’s funny to have to listen to my father again,” said Christine Tucker, laughing. “It’s a little bit interesting because I also assist my mother with her life-coaching business during the daytime.”

Also featured in the spoof (helmed by the winning team of producer Reginald Pillay, artistic director Mike Balser, Tucker and choreographer Carol Seitz) will be Jackie Block (Meg Nolia), James Walker (Andre Jyne), Samatha Andrews (Firmin Full), Jeff Christiansen (as the dame, Carlotta Ferrari), Joni Hayden-Summerton (as principal boy Raoul), Jake Hildebrand (Joe Bouquet DeFleur), Adrian Duncan (Punchy Ferrari), Jerret Schwartz (The Skull) and Frannie Warwick (Trappe).

For ticket information, call 604-501-5566 or visit http://tickets.surrey.ca/

Lee Aaron

The warm and versatile vocalizing of Canadian singing legend Lee Aaron – and her quartet – will headline a Festive Evening of Dinner and Jazz, Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-10 p.m. at Newlands Golf and Country Club.

The gala evening is a fundraiser for Servants Anonymous Society, which has provided vital residential care, treatment and education to young women at risk since 1996.

Tickets ($100) are available from Malary’s, 604-574-6402 or at sasurrey.ca


White Rock Players Club’s 2012 pantomime is Pinocchio, running Nov. 30 to Dec. 29 at the Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd.

Panto veteran Dave Baron’s script is a new adaptation of the classic tale by Carlo Collodi, incorporating some original and intriguing elements that have been filtered out in successively de-natured versions.

Pinocchio (Michelle Gaetz) – a puppet brought to life who wants to become a real boy – must battle the evil Puppet Master and his minions Fox (Jennifer Tiles) and Cat (Elyse Raible), survive being swallowed by a whale, rescue his beloved Isabella (Melissa Paras) and even put up with Isabella’s overbearing aunt, Miss Ann Thrope (Bryce Mills).

Also featured are Melanie Minty as Sophia, Nigel Watkinson as Geppetto, Ryan Elliott as the Godfather, Martin Perrin as Scagliare, Reilly Olexson and Kate Naylor as Gemini 1 and 2, and Suzanne Benson and Patte Rust as Old Puppet.

Expect all of the the over-the-top humour, music and general nonsense the White Rock pantomime has been noted for over six decades, under the capable direction of Susanne de Pencier, with musical direction by Kerry O’ Donovan, choreography by Lena Dabrusin, set design by Andrea Olund and costumes by Heather Maximea.

For tickets ($18, $16 seniors, students and Coast Capital members) and further information, call 603-536-7535, visit www.whiterockplayers.ca or email wrpctix@uniserve.com

Semiahmoo Strings

Fans of popular local classical youth ensemble The Semiahmoo Strings – who snapped up tickets for the showing of the classic cartoon The Snowman, with original score played live by the talented young instrumentalists – can congratulate themselves. Everybody else, sadly, will have to wait for some other year to catch this unique pre-Christmas treat.

The show, which takes place Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Earl Marriott Secondary’s Wheelhouse Theatre, was sold out shortly after tickets went on sale.

Other highlights of the evening, conducted by Semiahmoo Strings founder Carla Birston, will be Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Faure’s Elegy with cello soloist Michaela Yoon, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen with violin soloist Jeffrey Liang and Strauss’ immortal Blue Danube, while junior group the Demi-Semiahmoo Strings will heat up the winter chill with music from Brazil, featuring the conga drum and piano team of Samuel and Florence Hung.

Welsh Men’s Choir

The popular Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir will return to the Semiahmoo Peninsula Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at White Rock Baptist Church for their show Christmas at White Rock.

Joining the full-bodied sound of the male chorus will be the Johnston Heights Secondary Senior Choir.

It’s the launch of a busy Christmas season for the choir, which will take them to performances in New Westminster, Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Local fans will have another opportunity to catch their music on Dec. 11, at 8 p.m., when the choir will bring its Christmas show to Surrey Arts Centre.

Tickets ($25, $22 seniors and students) are available online at vwmc.ca or by calling 604-878-1190.

For the Surrey show tickets are available only through the Surrey Arts Centre box office, www.arts.surrey.ca or 604-501-5566.

Art Tour

A group of 19 artists who live and work in White Rock, Ocean Park, Crescent Beach and South Surrey will participate in an art tour Dec. 1-2 at eight separate locations open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day (sponsored by CIBC Wood Gundy - The Phillips/Yarmoshuk Group).

Artists showing works for sale include Rich Schmid, Jan Albertin, Sid Samphire, Adele Samphire, Lisa Samphire and Brian Hoyano, at Beecher Place, Crescent Beach. Their works in glass, stoneware, porcelain, paint, precious metals and wood reveal a common aesthetic; a love of natural materials and themes, elegance and practicality in design and function, and a wonderful colour sense.

Other partcipating artists are Mac Grieve, Gary McDonald, Nicole Carrie, Marta Styk, Hunter Brumell, Chris McClure, Jess Rice, David Patterson, Marilyn Hurst, June Bloye, Jacquie Janzen Yee, Diane Beadon and Georgina Johnstone.

For more information, contact Nicole Carrie at 604-536-4621. To learn more about each artist and see a map of all locations, visit www.peninsulaarttour.com

Jazz Society

The danceable rhythms of Dixieland-style jazz continue each Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 (2643 128 St.).

Next attraction in the White Rock Traditional Jazz Society’s current season will be cornetist Bert Barr’s Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band (Dec. 2).

Playing in its smaller “lite” version, the band will include reedman Paul Woltz, trombonist Tom Jacobus, banjoist Al LaTourette, Paul Hagglund on tuba and pianist Rose Marie Barr.

Admission is $8 (members), $10 (non-members) and memberships ($15) are available at the door.

Palette promise

Amazing Consignment Antiques and Collectables’ fundraiser Palette of Promise, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-5 p.m. at U Lounge (16051 24 Ave.) – featuring a silent auction and live entertainment – will benefit awareness and wellness programs provided to children, youth and adults through the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The $40 ticket (ages 19 and over) includes appetizers, a beverage and five 50/50 tickets, plus entertainment by members of the Western Conservatory of Music. Raffle baskets will also be available.

Proceeds will go towards advocacy, counselling and support groups, high school outreach,  therapeutic art and education offered by the association.

Tickets are available from the association’s Delta office (604-943-1878) or from Norma at 604-560-5088.


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