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
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
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.
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
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