Five reasons to check out this year's East Van Panto



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This year's East Van Panto, featuring Craig Erickson, Christine Quintana, Raugi Yi and Dawn Petten, takes over The Wizard of Oz at the York Theater from Nov. 28 to Jan. 6.

Tim Matheson / PNG

Theater Replacement production of East Van Panto: The Wizard of Oz is an annual tradition that is also family-friendly.

East Van Panto: The Wizard of Oz

When: Nov. 28 to Jan. 6

Where: York Theater

tickets: from $ 24 at thecultch.com

1. East Van tradition. Now in its sixth year, the Theater Replacement production is an annual tradition that is also family-friendly. Kids are five and up will enjoy the fairy tale aspect, and adults can laugh at the Jokes and local References: In this modern retelling, a burst pipeline sends Dorothy to the Promised Land of Nanaimo and Hastings. The British Panto also includes music, cross-dressing and lots of audience involvement.

2. The Wizard of Oz. Breaking away from traditional oldies such as Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (2017) and Little Red Riding Hood (2016), this year's Panto Panto-izes a more modern Fable, the classic 1939 film (and its source, Frank L. Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz).

3. Marcus Youssef. The award-winning playwright and artistic director of New World Theater has taken over scripting duties this year. Other newcomers to the production include Actors Craig Erickson and Christine Quintana (as Dorothy).

4. Returning Favorites. Stephen Drover, director of East Van Panto: Hansel & Gretel, is back, as are Dawn Petten and Raugi Yi. Also returning are Veda Hille and her collaborator, percussionist Barry Mirochnick. Their score includes pop hits with new (and some might say improved) lyrics.

5. Laura Zerebeski. Speaking of returning Favorites, scenic Illustrator Zerebeski is back as well. Reviewing last year's Snow White Panto, local theater critic Colin Thomas was full of praise for the artist, noting that "Zerebeski's style – her wavy, hallucinatory renderings of Vancouver cityscapes – has created a signature look for the East Van Pantos."

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