You can’t go wrong with a Ross Petty pantomime and as ever, this year’s holiday treat, A Christmas Carol-The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose! doesn’t miss a beat

There’s a reason Ross Petty’s pantos have been successfully running every season for the past few decades and that’s because he has perfected a winning formula. Performances that are geared for all ages with lots of flashy musical and dance numbers, familiar storylines with a twist, colorful staging and costumes brought together by a strong cast that always seems to be having a great time. What’s not to love? I’ve certainly had a blast the past three years that I’ve been attending.

This year it’s a wacky version of the ever-popular Dickens’s perennial Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol-The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose!, sees Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and a whole cast of zany characters including Jacob Marley (reimagined as the reggae master Bob), Helen So-Generous (Petty’s take of the popular dancing-talk-show-host with a similar name), and the exuberant Plumbum, taking on the roles of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Matt Murray and Jeremy Diamond’s script is fresh and entertaining with lots of clever word play, witty jibes and current social commentary. Tracey Flye’s direction and choreography are quick, clean and precise. I was particularly impressed with the Thriller number. Cory Sincennes’ set design is bright and cheerful and Dana Osborne’s costumes are delightfully extravagant and over the top.

Ross Petty Productions-A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Cyrus Lane, Dan Chameroy - photo by Racheal McCaig

Ross Petty Productions-A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Cyrus Lane, Dan Chameroy. Photo: Racheal McCaig

Many familiar returning cast members are on stage for this production, the fabulous triple threat sensation AJ Bridel, the flawlessly charming Kyle Golemba, the always entertaining Eddie Glen and of course these pantos would not be complete without the incomparable Dan Chameroy in full drag splendour. New this year was Cyrus Lane as Scrooge. Lane was a lot of deliciously wicked and seemed to thrive in the villain role. David Lopez’s voice is as smooth as silk and he was terrific as Jacob Marley. The rest of the company plays multiple roles and they are too numerous to list but part of why these shows are so strong is because of the dynamic chorus dancing and singing so impeccably.

If you haven’t ever checked out a Ross Petty panto, you are missing out.  If you have, I know you are coming back year after year because it is the perfect Christmas treat. So book a date and head down to the Elgin with your whole family for a light-hearted and entertaining night at the theatre.

On stage now at The Elgin Winter Garden Theatre through December 31. For tickets and more info please visit: Ross Petty Productions

About The Author

Nicole Fairbairn spent most of her adult life in Vancouver but decided to make Toronto her home four years ago and she’s loving every minute of it. She began writing for fun and it’s turned into a great passion. She’s an avid supporter of the arts and enjoys experiencing the many wonderful cultural events this city has to offer. When she’s not writing, Nicole enjoys reading, ice skating, salsa dancing, travelling and hanging out with her cat. Favourite Place in Toronto: Distillery District with its beautifully restored Victorian buildings, great cafes, stunning galleries, hip boutiques and vibrant theatre scene.

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