'WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST,' XANADU JR. & More Set for Pantochino's 2014-15 Season

'WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST,' XANADU JR. & More Set for Pantochino's 2014-15 Season

Award-winning Pantochino Productions Inc., Connecticut's ridiculously entertaining non-profit theatre company for family audiences has announced its 2014/15 season. Co-producers Bert Bernardi and Jimmy Johansmeyer promise four productions, and the return of its acclaimed Teen Theatre program.

"We're very excited to continue to bring the very best and most original theatre for young audiences and their families to the Center for the Arts in Downtown Milford," said Bernardi. "It's thrilling to watch our audiences grow as they discover the talent, the quality and all we have to offer," he added.

The season opens in October with "The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust." The new musical is a wildly funny adventure which brings the Wicked Witch and many of the most beloved characters from Oz to Kansas in a frantic search for Dorothy. "This family friendly show is Pantochino's nod to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the MGM movie, and perfect entertainment for the Halloween season," said Johansmeyer. "We're very excited about this one," he added.

For the holidays, "Christmas at Santa Claus Station" will be the merriest musical in town, starring Santa Claus himself. "The Center for the Arts was originally built as Milford's eastbound train station, and this whimsical new musical will pay tribute to its railroad roots," said Bernardi. The imaginative show will be featured and previewed as part of Downtown Milford's annual Lamplight Stroll celebration on Saturday, December 6th.

Pantochino brings back its popular Teen Theatre program in the winter months with "Xanadu Jr."The sparkling mash-up of mythology and disco features book by Douglas Carter Beane with music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar and is based on the Universal Pictures film. The program is open to young actors age thirteen to eighteen and is performed with special permission from Music Theatre International.

"The Brothers Grimm and A Showgirl," gets a special limited return engagement in March. Pantochino's signature musical has played in countless schools and at special events throughout Connecticut, and as licensed by Steele Spring Stage Rights, has been performed throughout the country, most recently in Seattle. The show features a "live on stage" performance by the Brothers Grimm who enact all of their most popular stories from Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel, all with the assistance of a fantastically fabulous show girl. "We're thrilled to bring this show to Milford for a very special weekend of performances," said Johansmeyer.

The season concludes in May with a festive finale, "Cinderella Italiano!" The classic story of Cinderella, set in Venice, is a high-energy musical panto following the sweet girl, her stepsisters and a Godmother with an offer not to be refused. "I'm drawing on my big, fat Italian heritage for this one," said Bernardi.

The four musicals this season are all written by Bernardi and feature original musical scores by Justin Rugg. "It's our passion to create 100% original material. We're the only company in Connecticut creating all new works from scratch," said Rugg.

Pantochino's 2014/15 season will also feature fundraising events, school vacation programs, summer theatre camps, touring productions, classes and the continuation of its popular After School Drama Clubs. Tickets for all productions are now on sale including a special "6 Pack" offer which features two tickets to three Friday evening performances at a savings of over twenty percent. Pantochino Productions Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non profit, tax exempt organization. More details and information are available online at www.pantochino.com.

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