Sunday, February 16, 2014

British Panto Comes Alive in Princeton

Despite the impediment of multiple snowstorms, a panto production of Jack and the Beanstalk drew full houses at the Stuart Country Day School's Stuart Little Theater yesterday, with another show this afternoon.

The brain child of the Variety Theater Team--Zoe Brookes, Per Kreipke and Todd Reichart--the show features community actors of all ages in a spoof of Princeton life, replete with comic takeoffs on town/gown tensions, a highly choreographed rantfest of wouldbe mayors, a cameo by the mayor herself, songs of love and yearning, a dancing cow, an economist who lectures Jack on the "means of production" before trading a dubious but fortuitous envelope for the cow, a standout performance by Ruth Schultz as a highly gymnastic telescope,

and keystone interventions by Campus Security.

I play woodwinds in the band, which I see from the program is called "The Hokum and Hackery Consort of Yooniversity", directed by Michael Jacobsen.

The play begins with a talented mime, who is then shooed off the stage by the director, who explains that British pantomime does not fit the American definition. Thus commences two afternoons and an evening of high hilarity, many months, brainstorms, and snowstorms in the making.


SFB said...

Very enjoyable show- the Cow deserves more plaudits! The music was good too.

Steve Hiltner said...

Yes, it was a very talented cow. I hear its back half did the splits at some point in the routine, which would be a first for cowdom, but I was too preoccupied with playing the accompaniment to notice.

Zoe Brookes said...

Yes, more plaudits for the cow. She was extraordinary. And kudos to the hidden dance partner, Iona Binnie, for the splits in the first act.
Thanks, Steve, for capturing the essence of the show so nicely. I'll be back to you to help with copy next year!