People's Light & Theatre Presents ALADDIN: A MUSICAL PANTO, Now thru 1/6

People's Light & Theatre presents Aladdin, A Musical Panto, co-written by Samantha Bellomo & Pete Pryor, with music and lyrics by Michael Ogborn. It runs tonight, November 14, 2012-January 6, 2013 on the Main Stage. Associate Artistic Director Pete Pryor directs. People's Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, Penn. For tickets call 610.644.3500 or visit PeoplesLight.org. Aladdin is part of the PNC Arts Alive Discovery Series.

When the young ne'er-do-well Aladdin and his animal pals discover a mysterious lamp, the hilarious adventure begins. Join our heroes as they rescue Princess Mai Tai, fly a magic carpet, and join forces with the beloved Dame, Widow Twankey, to save their village of Paolistein. Aladdin is a magical and musical romp that is sure to have you jumping out of your seats and singing in the aisles!

Now in its 9th year, the holiday Panto has become a tradition here at People's Light. We've taken our cues from the long-standing British Panto form, which evolved out of the Italian commedia dell'arte tradition, Twelfth Night and Festival of Fools celebrations, and British music hall entertainments. When the modern Panto became an established genre in the 18th Century, writers turned to well-known fairy tales and other favorite children's stories to provide loose outlines for performances. Aladdin was one of the first stories adapted for a Panto performance and has remained an audience favorite today.

Our world premiere production of Aladdin: A Musical Panto reunites artists from past People's Light Panto productions with a number of newcomers. Pete Pryor and Samantha Bellomo return to direct and choreograph their fifth Panto, but for the first time are the co-writers. "It has been a privilege and an honor to work on our annual holiday family celebration. With all of our past success and the strong foundation set in place by Kathryn Petersen and the invention by this year's talented cast, we hope to continue the laughter" Pryor says.

Composer and lyricist Michael Ogborn has been part of our creative team since 2007. Mark Lazar returns as the Dame, along with other Panto veterans Justin Jain (Aladdin), Susan McKey (The Nurse), Kim Carson (The Sultan), and Andrew Kane (Morris the Mantis). Larry Grant Malvern (The Genie of the Lamp) is starring in his first Panto after working on stage and as a teaching artist with the company since 1993. Highlights from Mr. Malvern's career include Peter Pan, The Perfect Ganesh, Standing Alone, and In the Blood. Conrad Sager also joins the Panto company for the first time after his acclaimed performance as Charles Wallace in People's Light's 2011 production of A Wrinkle in Time. Mal Whyte (Genius of the Ring) is an experienced Panto performer from productions throughout the United Kingdom, but this is his first time at People's Light.

WHAT IS A PANTO? The Panto is a tradition borrowed from England, where almost every town has a Panto during the holiday season. Pantos are a mix between a fractured fairy tale and a variety show, using familiar stories to form the basis for exaggeration, outrageous jokes, and rollicking songs and dances. They incorporate specific elements, including "the dame" (a man dressed as a woman), audience participation (in the form of cheering the heroes and booing the villains), a "messy bit," candy passed out to the audience, and a "silly song" that inspires an audience sing-along.

Aladdin: A Musical Panto previews on Wednesday, November 14th, Thursday, November 15th and Friday, November 16th at 7:00 pm. The play opens on Saturday, November 17th at 7pm and runs through January 6th. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists after each Thursday evening performance for a conversation about the production.

PNC Access half-price tickets are available for performances on Thursday, December 13 and January 3 at 7pm. Single tickets start at $35. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x134, or email charles@peopleslight.org.

Subscription tickets are still available for the 2012-2013 season. Remaining productions in the season include Aladdin: A Musical Panto (November 14, 2012-January 6, 2013), The Winter's Tale (January 31-March 3, 2013), The Trip to Bountiful (March 13-April 7, 2013), Barcelona (May 29-June 23, 2013) and Noises Off (July 10-August 4, 2013). Two other productions remain in the PNC Arts Alive Discovery Series and include Aladdin: A Musical Panto (November 14, 2012-January 6, 2013) and Stargirl (April 20-May 12, 2013). Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.

SPECIAL EVENT At 12pm before select Sunday 2pm performance matinees of Aladdin, The Farmhouse Bistro will host a brunch featuring characters from the play. Brunch is $21.95 for adults and $12.95 for youth (12 and under). For reservations, call 610.647.8060 or visit TheFarmhouseBistro.com.

People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce seven to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 350 and 170 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 6-Play and Discovery Series.

PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million initiative of The PNC Foundation that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement. Over the past four years, 97 regional arts groups with innovative ideas for increasing access to the arts have received support from PNC Arts Alive. For more information, visit www.pncartsalive.com/philadelphia.




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