Pantochino Sets 2016-17 Season
Producers Bert Bernardi and Jimmy Johansmeyer are ecstatic with the response and growth of their company which debuted in 2010. "We're excited to see our shows always sell out to capacity and are thrilled to see our teen theatre programs double and our in-school programs triple," said Bernardi. "We're the only company dedicated to original musical theatre for family audiences, and we are super excited to feature such a strong and varied roster for our sixth season," added Johansmeyer.
In October, the season opener is "The Bewitchingly Scrumptious and Extraordinary Mister Trick & Mrs.Treat," a deliciously quirky new Halloween tale. "We're so excited to bring this delightfully sweet and visually stunning show to the stage," said Bernardi who is writing the book and lyrics with an original score by Pantochino's Justin Rugg. The show plays October 21-30.
For the holidays, the company offers "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus," a new musical based on the L. Frank Baum's ("The Wizard of Oz") sweeping story chronicling the the story of Santa Claus from his humble beginnings in an enchanted forest to his life's work dedicated to the happiness of children around the world. "Our holiday show is the centerpiece of our season and we are thrilled to bring this, our biggest and most ambitious show to life " confided Johansmeyer. The original musical plays December 2 - 18.
February marks the return of Pantochino's popular Teen Theatre. This year, the young actor company will present "Starmites Lite" with music by Barry Keating and Stuart Ross. The out-of-this-world' high-energy fantasy follows a shy teenager who creates a world of heroes and villains who discover love, loyalty and inner-strength in outer space. The show was nominated for six 1989 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Performances are in February 2017.
The third original musical from the pen of Bernardi and Rugg is a "Nonni Cimino's Kitchen," a hilarious, big-hearted musical about family, friends and fettuccini. "It's inspired by my family and experience growing up as an Italian-American, " said Bernardi. "And it's a departure for Pantochino, but one we are excited about and believe in," said Johansmeyer. "Audiences are going to love this show."
All four musicals will be produced at the Center for the Arts in Downtown Milford. Tickets for all shows go on sale September 1.
In addition, Pantochino will continue its Summer Theatre Camps, After School Drama Clubs and will offer a roster of new classes for young actors at its Studio space at the former Saint Ann School in Milford. For it's April 2017 Theatre Camp, Pantochino will present the premier of a new musical based on the children's book "Punk Skunks" by Trisha Speed Shasken. Bernardi and Rugg will collaborate on the stage version.
Pantochino's Nite Spot Nights Series, produced in conjunction with the Milford Arts Council will continue for a second season offering unique musical performances by top notch New York talent. The Center for the Arts is transformed into a club-like setting with tables and chairs and patrons may bring their own food and drink to enjoy during the performances. The series debut season was an instant and complete sell out. This year's roster includes Amy Lynn and the Gun Show (September 10), Jeri Sager in "This Broad's Way" (November 5), "Christmas Cocktails" (December 10), "Dancing Through the Decades" (December 31), Natalie Douglas in "The Nat Pack" (March 4), The Gin Fizz Band (April 1) and Raissa Katona Bennett & Kenneth Gartman in "What A Wonderful World" (May 13).
Details and further information on all of Pantochino's 2016/17 season can be found on their website, www.pantochino.com.