Jasmine (Sara Morales) and Aladdin (Adrian Shaffer) must contend with the evil Abenazar (Jake Hildebrand) in White Rock Players’ Club’s Christmas panto Aladdin, opening Dec. 4 at White Rock Playhouse. (Sandra Adamack photo)

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Aladdin

White Rock Players Club’s eagerly awaited Christmas pantomime returns Dec. 4 at White Rock Playhouse with a colourful version of the time-honoured classic Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, this one written by Chase Thompson and co-produced by Charles Buettner and Dann Wilhelm (Robin Hood and the Skytrain of Doom) – who also directs, with musical direction by Marquis Byrd.

The show stars Adrian Shaffer in the title role, with Sara Morales as wilful Princess Jasmine, and always reliable laugh-getters Ray Van Ieperen (as the dame Widow Twankey), Reginald Pillay (as the Emperor) and Jake Hildebrand as the scheming villain Abenazar.

Also featured are Christopher Hall as a flamboyant Genie of the Lamp, Janelle Carss as the Genie of the Ring, Paige Thomsen as Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee and Dianna Gola-Harvey as Jasmine’s handmaiden Handee.

Tickets ($24, $15 students and seniors) are available from whiterockplayers.ca or call 604-536-7535.

Blue Frog

White Rock’s popular intimate recording studio/live concert venue Blue Frog Studios (1328 Johnston Rd.) continues to promote concerts by world-class touring talents – including local and Lower Mainland-based acts.

Coming up this week (Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.), Vancouver-based gypsy jazz group Van Django will present its swinging tribute to Christmas, Cool Yule (tickets $47).

Joining violinist Cameron Wilson, guitarist Budge Schachte, guitarist/cellist Finn Manniche and bassist Brent Gubbels will be stellar vocalist L.J. Mounteney for tunes ranging from I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Let it Snow, Silent Night and Silver Bells to Christmas Time is Here – all with a touch of the Django Reinhardt/Hot Club of France style.

For tickets and information on other Christmas-themed presentations this month, visit bluefrogstudios.ca

Cinderella

As usual, FVGSS A Musical Theatre Company is first out of the gate with a Christmas pantomime this season.

This year’s production, Cinderella – with an energetic cast including Melanie Mercer (Cinderella), Amanda Drebot (Prince Charming), Rosie Forst (Fairy Godmother) and Bryce Paul Mills and Angel Duran Heon as the stepsisters, plus a full score of favourite songs from the ’70s – will play its final performances this week at the main stage of Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave.

Evening performances (7:30 p.m.) are tonight (Dec. 4), Thursday and Friday (Dec. 5 and 6); plus 2:30 p.m. matinees on Dec. 7 and 8.

Tickets are available online at fvgss.org or by phone, at 604-501-5566.

Art Society

There’s a great opportunity to purchase original art this weekend as South Surrey White Rock Art Society presents its 60th anniversary gala art show and sale (Sunday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Turnbull Gallery, South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre, 14601 20 Ave.

First known as the Painters’ Workshop, the society was founded in 1959 by a group of women who wanted to paint together.

The group evolved into the White Rock Painting and Sketch Club, registered as a non-profit society in 1962, which later became the White Rock and South Surrey Art Society, before settling on the current name in 2007 to reflect a changing demographic.

Among proud accomplishments of the society was the White Rock Summer School of the Arts branch organization established by members Sheila Symington and Kay Jenkins, which, along with garden parties and art auctions raised money with the aim of achieving a permanent home for the society.

Thanks to a $250,000 contribution from the society, that dream became a reality when the City of Surrey built the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre in 2014.

In addition to other work on display for sale, member artists have submitted more than 100 10”-by-10” canvases honouring the 60th anniversary theme, which will be available for $150 each.

Other original art works for sale will include a wide variety of media, styles and sizes (Visa, Mastercard, cheques and cash accepted).

Admission is free and there is also free parking.

For more, visit artsociety.ca

Choir show

The Peninsula-based Crescent Choirs, directed by Samara Bortz, will present Glow – a magical evening of Christmas, winter and holiday music – Sunday (Dec. 8) at 6 p.m. at White Rock Baptist Church, 1657 140 St.

For the first time, all six of the ever-growing choral family’s groups will be joining voices at the same venue – the Angeli Children’s Choir (kindergarten to Grade 2 children); the Lux Children’s Choir (Grades 3–7, with high school mentors from the Youth Choir who volunteer each week at rehearsals); the Crescent Youth Choir (high school and university-aged students); the Crescent Women’s Choir (adult women, non-auditioned); the Luna Vocal Ensemble (auditioned women’s chamber choir) and the Aurora Chamber Choir (a mixed voice auditioned young adult chamber choir, directed by Andrew Bortz, also pianist for all the choirs).

Also featured will be cellist Emily Burton and violinist Jiten Bearisto.

Among selections will be I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, in a modern arrangement performed by Lux Children’s Choir and Luna Vocal Ensemble, featuring Grade 12 soloist Emma Verret; Twelve Days of Christmas – a comedic version with a surprise ending performed by Crescent Youth Choir; Auld Lang Syne – the Scottish carol will be sung by Crescent Women’s Choir, featuring soloist Katy LaVigne; and Gaudete! – an exciting arrangement of a sacred Medieval Christmas song featuring percussion, performed by Luna Vocal Ensemble.

The children’s choirs will sing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s My Favourite Things, while all six choirs and the string players will share the stage for Night of Silence, a beautiful version of the traditional carol, Silent Night.

Tickets ($20 pre-sale or $25 at the venue, free for children 12 and under) can be purchased at crescentchoirs.com/glow

St. Mark’s

While St. Mark’s Anglican Church (12953 20 Ave.) is not presenting the Journey of Christmas outdoor display this year, it will celebrate the season with two special Christmas concerts.

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, the Young People’s Operatic Society of Surrey, directed by Elizabeth Gilchrist (new musical director at St. Mark’s), will present A Dickens Christmas.

A cast of 30 society members will portray various Dickens characters, with interlude songs by the society chorus and special guests, the St. Mark’s Choir.

Tickets ($22, $18 seniors and students) are available at the door with proceeds to both the society and the St. Mark’s Syrian Refugee Fund.

And on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m., well-known operatic/show-tune singers Debra Da Vaughn and Chris Simmons and their daughter Cassandra – only eight but already distinguishing herself as a singer – will present a program of traditional Christmas songs and some Broadway favourites.Tickets ($15) available at the door, with proceeds to benefit the Surrey Food Bank.

Trad Jazz

The White Rock Traditional Jazz Society presents the highly danceable early 20th century jazz of the New Orleans, Chicago and New York idioms each Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at Club 240 (Crescent Legion branch, 2643 128 St).

Coming up are the Grand Slam Jazz Band (Dec. 8), Scott Robertson’s Swing Patrol (Dec. 15) and the WRTJS Christmas Party with Gerry Green and the Crescent City Shakers (Dec. 22).

Admission (at the door) is $12; $10 for WRTJS members.

White Rock Legion

White Rock Legion Branch 8 (2290 152 St.) maintains a busy schedule of Friday and Saturday entertainment, plus special events, paint nights and line dancing, a regular Howlin’ Tuesdays jam (7 p.m. to midnight) and Sunday afternoon entertainment (3-7 p.m.), while its famed MacKarino’s Kitchen is open Wednesday through Saturday.

This weekend’s Friday and Saturday band (7-11 p.m.) is Jason Cooper (Dec. 6-7), followed by Reckless (Dec. 13-14), Cheek to Cheek (Dec. 20-21) and Front Page (Dec. 27-28).

On Dec. 10, 7-11 p.m., the Howlin’ Tuesdays jam will become a special Howlin’ For Christmas blues, rock n’ roll and country jam hosted by Chris Charlton, with special guests. Admission is a non-perishable item or a cash donation for the food bank.

And while tickets are already sold out for the legion’s New Year’s Eve party and dinner with Beach Patrol there are still back room, entertainment-only tickets available (including champagne and party favours) for $40. For more information, call 604-531-2422.

Club 240

Crescent Legion’s Club 240 (2643 128 St.) is the location for regular Live at Club 240 Friday-night dances, with a variety of bands presented by the Total Music Group (TMG, formerly Semiahmoo Music Consortium), along with other special Friday and Saturday events throughout the year and a regular Wednesday bluegrass jam.

Tickets for all TMG dances ($20) are on sale at brownpapertickets.com and at the legion box office (604-535-1043).

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