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PHOTOS: ‘Cinderella’ panto in Surrey with groan-worthy puns starting Dec. 15

Colourful characters to fill Surrey Arts Centre stage in Royal Canadian company show
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A sword fight in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)

Nearly two dozen actors from across Metro Vancouver hit the stage in “Cinderella,” this year’s traditional British pantomime production from Surrey-based Royal Canadian Theatre Company.

The seasonal show opens Friday, Dec. 15 on Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage for a week-plus run before moving to Massey Theatre in New Westminster post-Christmas, from Dec. 29-31.

This song-filled “Cinderella” promises groan-worthy puns, saucy slapstick action and choreography involving an energetic cast. Audience participation is encouraged, including booing the “bad guys” on stage.

Royal Canadian has been staging family-friendly pantos for many years, and continues to pay tribute to Geoff King, former music director. King, husband of company founder Ellie King, died in October 2022.

For “Cinderella,” Surrey-based musician Argel Monte de Ramos has stepped in to write lyrics and songs.

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Surrey-area cast members of “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)
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Stepsisters Amnesia and Anesthesia in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)
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A ripped invitation in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)

Kerri Norris directs the show, which includes some classics donated to the company by the Kings as part of the panto’s “musical journey,” choreographed by Tiffany Kanda with what promises to be a “regal yet fun atmosphere.”

Stars include Crystal Weltzin (as Fairy Godmother), Nik Trotzuk (Demon Godfather), Jodie Aguinaldo (Cinderella), Kaden Burgart (Buttons), Rebecca Trotzuk (Baroness Hardup), Michael Widman (Amnesia), Stephen Elcheshen (Anesthesia), Juliet Logan (Prince Charming), Aeron Elcheshen (Columbina), Zoe Soupidis (Dandini) and Illya Mulji (Baron Hardup).

The show’s ensemble features Tiffany Chan, Braeden Craig, Kalen Dy, Cayleigh Elcheshen, Tristan Guilbault, Zoah Haveli, Joy Johnson, Rebecca Jones, Kyle Simpson, Amy Troxell and Teru Widman.

Welzin wrote the script, a classic tale of rags to riches.

She says people will be entertained by two dames this year, posing as the Ugly Stepsisters named Amnesia and Anesthesia, and terrorized by the wicked Stepmother, Baroness Hardup. They’re residents of the Kingdom of Pomme de Terre, where the Fairy Godmother and Demon Godfather struggle for control.

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Crystal Weltzin plays Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)
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Crystal Weltzin as Fairy Godmother, left, and Jodie Aguinaldo (Cinderella) in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)
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Nik Trotzuk (Demon Godfather) in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)

Rehearsals have been held at Royal Canadian’s studio in Whalley.

From Dec. 15-26 there are 10 show times at Surrey Arts Centre including a “relaxed” performance on Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m. start. Relaxed performances are for anyone with babies or toddlers in arms, as well as “anyone with mental or physical disabilities which includes sound and lighting cues adjusted, exiting and entering allowed at any time, lights kept dim, pre-performance explanation, audience noise, movement or fidget devices permitted.”

“Cinderella” details are posted on surrey.ca and also rctheatreco.com, or call 604-501-5566. Ticket options include $34.99 for a “regular” seat, $29.99 for those 60+ and 12 and under, $130 for a family pack of four and a group rate of $249 for groups of 10 or more ($24.99 per ticket).

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Cast of “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)
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A shoe-fitting in “Cinderella,” Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s 2023 panto show. (Contributed photo)


Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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