A&E » Arts

Lots of local laughs in Aladdin



Pantomime production lampoons village, mayor, Cheakamus Challenge

What: Aladdin

Where : MY (Millennium) Place

When: Nov. 13-15.

Tickets: $13-$17

A page from my own personal version of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Theatre: a pantomime is not a chalky-faced, trouser-wearing, mute performer pretending to be stuck in an invisible box.

A pantomime is a British form of theatre wherein classic, well-known fairy tale story lines are punched up with injections of regional humour and played for even bigger laughs by blatant gender-role switching. That being said, one can usually expect hairy-backed princesses, brave conquering heroes in high-heeled shoes, or in the case of the third annual Whistler pantomime which begins a four-show run this Thursday evening, an obviously female Aladdin with long blond hair.

Aladdin will be the third annual Whistler pantomime production, coming at the community this year courtesy of Short Skirt Theatre and Between Shifts. True to traditional pantomime form, the story has been tailored to the region.

Directed by RMOW staffer Heather MacPherson, Aladdin, played by Angie Nolan, lives in the Mighty Resort Municipality of Whistler, China and falls head over heels for the petulant Princess Martini, played by Deidre Hambly. In the course of his, er, that is her, quest to win the princess’s heart watch for hilarious references to the Cheakamus Challenge, Mayor Hugh O’Reilly, and local businesses.

If it sounds like a lot of fun, it is affirms producer Susan Hutchinson, who has been involved in past pantomimes Cinderella and Snow White.

Hutchinson describes the upcoming production as more Carol Burnett/Saturday Night Live style sketch comedy than Shakespeare.

"There’s a lot of over-the-top humour and it’s very interactive with the audience," says Hutchinson. We expect the crowd to boo the villain and cheer the hero. It’s great family entertainment."

Aside from Nolan and Hambly the cast of 11 is rounded out with a host of familiar faces from the Whistler community. Watch for a cameo role from Councillor Nick Davies and a scene-stealing gender-bending turn by GLC manager Mike Varrin as the Widow Twanky.

The production begins its four-show run this Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. at MY Place, continuing Friday and Saturday evenings with a matinee performance Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $13 for students and seniors. Call 604-935-8410 for more information.

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