imaginary beasts bring their traditional winter Pantomime to Boston audiences for the first time, with the tale of the eponymous egg from Nursery Rhyme Land. After nine years of performing a Panto each winter on the North Shore, imaginary beasts artistic director Matthew Woods has made the move to Boston for Winter Panto 2012.
A Giant Egg has appeared mysteriously on the wall surrounding Old King Cole’s castle. It’s a portent of Doom sent by Old King Icicle himself and if the egg should fall—down will come King and crown and castle and all. Winter will blanket Nursery Rhyme Land for all-time. In order to reverse the curse, Sunnyside the Goose must lead a band of ragtag characters on a dangerous quest that will take them to the far reaches of the world.
imaginary beasts' statement for Winter Panto 2012: "Forget what you think you know about Pantomime— Marcel Marceau’s white make up, story filler for a ballet, an evening of charades—for the British winter tradition has none of that. Instead, it is a hybrid comic form that is fun for the whole family. A grown man bounds onstage in a dress to cheers, a sinister figure appears from the left to a chorus of boos and hisses, a young woman playing the part of boy-hero slaps her thigh to show off her shapely legs, and a ragtag band of characters fight for the good, right, and true with a handful of bad puns along the way. Pop songs are belted, local references made, and social mores are given a hilarious send up. At the center of the spectacle, the most important element of all – the battle of good versus evil—is played out. While audience members won’t have to leave their seats, they will be encouraged to cheer the “goodies” and boo the “baddies”, for it is only with audience support that the good, right, and true can triumph in the end. This is British Pantomime, a widespread tradition in the United Kingdom, seen much more rarely in the United States. imaginary beasts, however, is keeping the tradition alive in Boston. “There is a spirit of festivity and community that brings people together in the wintertime,” says Woods. “And Panto is all about celebrating that spirit.” Families will delight at this once-a-year opportunity for kids and adults alike to be equally entertained at the theatre."
Always told against the backdrop of a traditional fairy tale, nursery rhyme, or legend, the beasts collaborate as an ensemble to write their own Panto script, peppering the story with popular culture and local references. “Panto has always been a theatrical form that brings us face to face with our greed, our prejudices, our cowardice and our dishonesty, but it does so in a way that forces us to laugh at ourselves,” says Woods. “In the end, virtue is rewarded, true love conquers evil, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
WHEN: January 13 - February 4, 2012. Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays & Sundays @ 2:00 pm, except January 28 and 29-- matinees will be at 4:00pm.
WHERE: Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the ARts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
TICKETS: General admission $15-$20 depending on day & time; Children under 10, $10. Discounts available for students & seniors with valid ID. Other discounts and promotions available; check box office for details.
BOX OFFICE: Phone - 617.933.8600; web - www.bostontheatrescene.com
Cast: Erin Brehm, Mauro Canepa, Mikey DiLoreto, Denise Drago, Sam Eckmann, Robin Eldridge, Derek Fraser, Molly Kimmerling, Christina Malanga, Amy Meyer, Chris Nourse, Jenny Reagan, Jill Rogati, Kiki Samko, Michael Underhill, Jesse Wood, Matthew Woods
Director: Matthew W. Woods
Costume Design: Cotton Talbot-Minkin
Light Design: Michael Underhill
Set Design: Mac Young & Matthew Woods
About the Boston Center for the Arts:
“The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is the nonprofit performing and visual arts center whose mission is to support working artists to create, perform, and exhibit new work; to develop new audiences; and to connect the arts to a broad public. For more information, visit www.bcaonline.org.”
imaginary beasts is a non-profit, non-equity theatre company serving the greater Boston area and the entire North Shore community. We are committed to bringing innovative yet accessible theatrical performances to the general public and to reaching diverse communities through the projects we develop. At heart we are an artist-based theatre company and it remains central to our mission to offer our company members – both traditional and non-traditional performance artists – a unique chance to explore and develop exciting theatre in an ongoing studio environment.