Some fresh faces – directors Alex Lowe and Anne-Marie Zak, musical director Marquis Byrd and choreographer Rachael Carlson – take the helm as the White Rock Players’ Club continues its sixth decade of producing homegrown Christmas pantomimes.
The latest effort is based on a script by WRPC panto veteran Dave Baron, “lovingly ripped off” from Victor Hugo’s classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
But anyone who knows their White Rock panto traditions won’t be too surprised that The Hunchback of Notre Panto (Coast Capital Playhouse, Dec. 1-30) is a less-than-faithful version of the original tale of medieval Paris.
For example, WRPC’s version is now set in 1920s Paris – tracing the lives of the beggars, poets and aristocrats whose paths cross in the iconic square before the cathedral of Notre Dame, under the watchful eyes of Cardinal Frollo (a suitably evil performance by Kelly Thompson), who ‘protects’ the misguided bell-ringer Quasimodo (enthusiastically played by Ben Pilger).
Young poet Pierre Bonhomme (Samantha Silver) attempts to win the heart of the beautiful Esmerelda (Juliana Peralta) while ever-popular panto Dame Bryce Paul Mills appears as La Belle Chantefleure, Queen of the Beggars.
“Our Paris exists in an imperfect harmony, caught in a tug-of-war between a very sweet Angel, who has the best of intentions at heart, and the resident Demon who wants to bring out the worst in people,” said Players’ Club president Fred Partridge in a news release.
“Throw in a mysterious Stranger and her amazing pet, you will be taken to a place that is more than a little out of balance.
“In this hilarious and sometimes poignant tale, we hope you will partake in cheering on your favourite character and joining in on our popular sing-a-longs.”
The theatre is located at 1532 Johnston Rd., and curtain for all shows (except 2:30 p.m. matinees) is 7:30 p.m.
For tickets ($22, $15 for children 12 and under), call 604-536-7535 or visit whiterockplayers.ca