Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Dates: 17 December 2004 - 8 January 2005 at 8pm

Reviewer: Ed Farolan


 

 

 

 


This wonderful extravaganza patterned, after the British pantomime, is a traditional festivity at Metro during the Christmas season. Johnny Duncan, one of the veterans of Metro, wrote and directed this one. Responsible for the pantos at this theatre, he is the author of no less than seven.

The "pantomime" is the kind of show where audiences participate in the action.  They cheer for the good guys and boo the villains. They sing along with the cast and interface with the actors.  It's something unique, and I believe only Metro offers this kind of theatre in the Vancouver area.

Ryan Mooney, who stars as Wakey Fakir and also the show's publicist, is an all around talent -- actor, director, and teacher. The female lead, Kazumi Evans, plays Polly Bones.  She has sung and acted in many musicals including The King and I and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

This community theatre mixes amateurs with professionals. Steve Dotto as Ali Baba is a Metro veteran and has received Theatre BC's Most Outstanding Actor award. Another old-timer in the business and also a Best Actor award winner, Clyde Rowett, an architect by profession, plays Cassie Blanca, a female part much in the tradition of panto drag.

 

w
w
w
.
r
e
v
i
e
w
V
a
n
c
o
u
v
e
r
.
o
r
g

Outstanding  for his performance is Trent Glukler, who plays the villian Demon Distastely. He gets the boos and hisses from the audience comprised mostly of children. But this is kind of show is for both young and old. There were moms and dads jeering with their kids, as well as seniors hissing at the villain and cheering at the hero and heroine.

The repertory of Metro for the rest of the 2004-05 season in commendable.  Derek Benfield's In for the Kill, a suspenseful murder thriller, runs from 15 January -12 February; A. R. Gurney's Sylvia, a modern romantic comedy, runs from 19 Februay to 19 March; the ever popular Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, 26 March - 23 Apri; Round and Round the Garden by Alan Ayckbourn from 30 April - 28 May; and the hilarious season closing show Hotbed Hotel by Michael Parker, 4 June - 2 July.

Despite so much competition with other theatre companies, Metro Theatre, alive and kicking since the 70s, still gets an audience. Ali Baba has almost sold out until the end of its run, and the full house at this evening's performance is proof that word of mouth has this as a great show. For more information about Metro, see www.metrotheatre.com or phone at 604.266.7191 to make reservations.

2004 Ed Farolan

home