Dearest fellow travelers, in case you missed my exhortation last year, let me repeat it: go see a panto. If you’re in Chicago, you’re in luck, because an Evanston theater company puts on a panto every Christmas season. Forget the tired old Goodman A Christmas Carol, or even any of the we’re-taking-the-piss-out-of-earnest-Christmas productions; Piccolo Theatre is where it’s at. But what is a panto? Here’s an excerpt from my theater review:
‘Pantomime’ is a bit of a misnomer; the British panto involves no miming. Indeed, it’s a raucous production involving cross-dressing, musical numbers, sly pop culture references, and rowdy audience participation. A fairytale or well-known story is reworked for maximum comedic effect, with adjustments made to fit in standard panto characters like the dame, the villain’s henchman, and the slightly clueless hero.
Read the rest here.
What fun! I’ve been to a couple in England on family vacations, and I still remember screaming out warnings to the hero, “He’s right behind you!” as the villain crept up for an attack. It is no less fun to do this as an adult, I promise you. So get thee to a panto!