Director/Writer Johnny Duncan

Dates and Venue 15 December 2006 - 6 January 2007 @ Metro Theatre (1370 SW Marine Drive)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Johnny Duncan writes and directs his ninth pantomime for Metro, and does a great job with his adaptation of the Cinderella story by adding a villain, Demon (Hot Dog) Distastely (Trent Glukler) who battles with the good Fairy Snowflake (Isabel Mendenhall), the fairy godmother of Cinderella (Christine Quintana/Chelsea Powrie).

Following the traditional Briitish-style pantomime, the hero, Prince Charming, is played by a young woman (Sarah Mendenhall), and the sisters of Cinderella, Cyanide (Mark Turpin) and Bromide (Tyler Q. Felbel), are two middle-aged men. Furthermore, to add to the comedy, their large frames are a stark contrast to the diminutive cowboy Reddy (Chris Lam) and his partner, the wiry Ruff (Neil Aspinall) who become the love targets of these two huge ugly sisters.

Lots of audience participation, old and corny jokes, and popular songs of the day are all features of this panto. And naturally, good triumphs over evil at the end. Indeed, both kids and their parents/grandparents enjoyed the show, booing at the villain and cheering Cinderella and her fairy godmother, singing along with the actors.

Popular tunes like "That's Entertainment" changed to "That's Cinderella," ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Cole Porter favourites, "It's Delightful,""You're the Top," and others got the old foggies in the audience humming along.

All the actors played their parts really well. Trent Glukler as the villainous Demon Hot Dog was very articulate; Chelsea Powrie was angelic and sweet; Isabel Mendenhall as the Fairy Snowflake was constantly cheered by the children; Richard Lam as Buttons was loveable; John Hainsworth as Baron Stoneybroke, played his role as a father would to his three daughters.

Mark Turpin and Tyler Felbel were simply funny as the middle-aged panto dames; Tracy Labrosse as Dandini, the Prince's valet, was very good with her gestures; Chris Lam was really funny with all his acrobatics, as was Neil Aspinall. The Pussycat Ghouls danced extremely well; and the ensemble composed mostly of children were very good.

Musical Director Pat Waldron and Choreographer Dawn Ewen did a fantastic job with the music and the dances. The production staff did a lot of work for this panto, with a number of set changes and costumes ranging from the beautiful dresses of Cinderella and the fairy godmother, to the meticulous make-up of Demon Hot Dog.

It was quite a long show (almost three hours) but with this kind of entertainment, there was never a dull moment. As is customary after this type of show, the children went up to meet the actors on stage and get their autographs. It appeared that everyone enjoyed the show and had a good time. There are still lots of performances running till January, so make sure you come with the whole family!

© 2006 Ed Farolan