Starry ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH Panto Lands Tonight at Laguna Playhouse
Laguna Playhouse presents Lythgoe Family Panto's ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH, written by Kris Lythgoe, directed and choreographed by Spencer Liff, musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland.
ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH will begin performances tonight, December 7, and runs through December 31, 2017 with the opening on Friday, December 8 at 7:00pm at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Casting is led by LFP Producer Becky Lythgoe.
Jason Graae (Forever Plaid, Spamilton) as the Widow Twankey, Jason Earles (Disney's "Hannah Montana" & "Kickin' It") as Wishy Washee and Jay Donnell (Mamma Mia) as the Genie, will join the previously announced Kira Kosarin (3-time Kid's Choice Award-nominee of Nickelodeon's hit show "The Thundermans") as Jasmine, Jason Gotay (World Premiere of Stephen Schwartz's The Prince Of Egypt, title role of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) as Aladdin, Barry Pearl ("Grease") as the Sultan and Josh Adamson (Big Fish, Taboo) as Abanazar.
"The holidays are the times for 'wishes' to come true and ours most certainly are by presenting our third Lythgoe Family Panto holiday event!" comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard. Remarks Becky Lythgoe, "We are delighted to now be a holiday tradition at the Laguna Playhouse and thrilled to announce this star studded cast and creative team that will take you on yet again another magical journey, this time with flying carpets, singing camels and all of your winter wishes coming true!"
An updated version of the classic Arabian Nights tale, in the style of a traditional British family Panto, ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH is a singing, swinging and soaring adventure that features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing (with "So You Think You Can Dance" alumni), and contemporary music from "Jai Ho" (Slumdog Millionaire) to "Treasure" (Bruno Mars) to "Fantasy" (Earth, Wind and Fire) and many more!
Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairy tales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together.
ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH marks Lythgoe Family Panto's third production at the venerable Laguna Playhouse. Past Pantos at Laguna Playhouse include A Snow White Christmas starring Marina Sirtis and Lindsay Pearce & Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight starring Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Joely Fisher.
As part of the organization's ongoing commitment to develop theatre for young audiences, Lythgoe Family Panto together with Laguna Playhouse will bring the magic of Panto to hundreds of underserved children who attend school in Orange County. Lythgoe Family Panto is grateful to their partners and friends at Golden State Foods and Segerstrom Center for the Arts for generously providing school buses for the student matinees.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Spencer Liff (Director & Choreographer) Broadway: Falsettos, Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He's best know for his work on the past nine seasons of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," which have earned him 2 Emmy Award nominations for Best Choreography. Other TV: "Best Time Ever" with Neil Patrick Harris (producer/choreographer), "Dancing with the Stars," "How I Met Your Mother, "One Day At A Time" (Netflix), "Parks and Recreation," "Mike and Molly," "Two Broke Girls," "Alexa & Katie" (Netflix), "The Latin Grammy Awards" and "The Emmy Awards". Film: "Speech and Debate." Other regional theater includes the world premiere of The Man in The Ceiling (Bay Street Theater), Sleepless in Seattle The Musical (Pasadena Playhouse) Circus in Winter (Goodspeed), Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Rock Opera(Shakespeare Theatre Company) Oliver! (Human Race Theatre) World Of Color (Disneyland). As a performer he's been seen on Film, TV, and in five Broadway shows winning the 2008 Astaire Award for Best Male Dancer on Broadway.
Keith HarrisON (Musical Director) has produced work for ABC, NBC, FOX, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, McDonald's, Allstate, Porsche, Toyota, Big Lots, Skechers, Cricket Wireless, and many others. He has music directed hundreds of live productions, including the "Daytime Emmy Awards," "The Radio Disney Music Awards," "Celebrity Cruises Entertainment," Heathers: The Musical, and Romy & Michele's High School Reunion: The Musical. He has been a member of the industry-leading arranging team at "American Idol," the house pianist for "Access Hollywood," and is a partner artist of Roland Corporation. Recent collaborators include Jason Alexander, Keith David, Ana Gasteyer, Ariana Grande, Jennette McCurdy, Erich Bergen, Shoshana Bean, and Lilias White. He also portrayed rock 'n roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis in the original Chicago cast of Million Dollar Quartet. Keith is a proud graduate of Northwestern University, where he met his wife and writing partner Laura Harrison. Their original musical Emojiland is currently in development.
Jason Graae (Widow Twankey) Broadway: A Grand Night For Singing, Falsettos, Stardust, Snoopy! Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? (Off-Bway) Spamilton, Forever Plaid (original Sparky) Hello, Muddah, Hello Fadduh( Drama Desk Award Nomination). Winner of LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Contribution in Musical Theatre, so smell him. L.A.: Hung upside down for a year as Houdini in the U.S premiere of Ragtime, Forbidden Broadway & Fprbidden Hollywood (Ovation Award) and at the Hollywood Bowl he was seen in Guys and Dolls and The Music Man. With L.A. Opera, Jason was featured in The Merry Widow and The Grand Duchess. TV/Film: Yes. For 5 and 1/2 years he was voice of "Lucky the Leprechaun" for Lucky Charms Cereal, a balanced part of your complete breakfast. He can be heard on over 65 recordings, original cast albums, studio CDs and 3 solo CDs.
JASON EARLES (Wishy Washee) Featured stage roles include Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Alan Strang in Equus, Feste in Twelfth Night, and Ronnie Shaunnesy in House of Blue Leaves which resulted in multiple Irene Ryan Nominations and runs with the Illustrious Virginia City Players and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. Earles made the transition to film and television in 2001 and has spent the last decade and a half being a successful Actor, Producer and Director. Best known for his roles as Jackson Stewart on Disney's record-breaking franchise "Hannah Montana" and Rudy Gillespie in the #1 hit Disney XD show "Kickin It," Jason has enjoyed a long and diverse career. He has had the immense pleasure to work with and learn from such talents as Larry David, Brooke Shields, Vicki Lawrence, Dolly Parton in Hannah Montana, James Spader in Boston Legal, Michael Chiklis in The Shield, and Nic Cage in National Treasure. Earles plays a lovable killer in the upcoming action film "Hunted," has done extensive voice over work including the smash web series "The Most Popular Girls in School," and has even added DGA Director to the list, directing multi-camera sitcoms for the past few years.
Jay Donnell (Genie) is making his Playhouse debut! National Tour: Miss Saigon (Ensemble/John u/s). Select Regional: Mamma Mia! directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (Father Alexandrios, Hollywood Bowl), Memphis (Bobby, Musical Theatre West), Ragtime (Coalhouse, San Diego Musical Theatre), Once On This Island (Agwe, 3D Theatricals), Kiss Me, Kate! (Hortensio/Fred u/s, Pasadena Playhouse), Frozen Live! directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy (Grand Pabbie/Bishop; Disney California Adventure), Sleepless In Seattle (Ernie, Pasadena Playhouse), Side Show (Jake, 3D Theatricals), South Pacific (Henry, Musical Theatre West), 25th Annual..Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney, PCPA, Phoenix Theatre), Floyd Collins (Ed Bishop, La Mirada Theatre, LA Ovation Award Winner). National commercials for Allstate Insurance, Dodge, Bud Light. TV/Film: Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean (Iconoclastic Features), Lost Tapes: Poltergeist (Discovery Channel).
Join the previously announced...
KIRA KOSARIN (Jasmine) is best known for her starring role as 'Phoebe Thunderman' in the hit series, "The Thundermans" on Nickelodeon. The series recently finished its 4th (and final) season and 99th episode on-air. In addition to the show being consistently tapped as Nickelodeon's #1 series and winning the KCA 2016 'Favorite TV Show'. Kira has also been nominated 3 years in a row for the KID'S CHOICE AWARDS for the 'Favorite TV Actress' category and was just seen guest hosting the 2017 KIDS CHOICE AWARDS alongside John Cena.
Jason Gotay (Aladdin) is an actor and teaching artist born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After recently starring in the World Premiere of Stephen Schwartz' The Prince of Egypt at Theatreworks Silicon Valley (Ramses), he is thrilled to make his debut with Lythgoe Family Panto. Broadway: Bring It On The Musical (Randall, original Broadway and touring companies), Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). TV: "Peter Pan Live!" (Tootles/Lost Boy). Regional: Freaky Friday (Adam, World Premiere) at the Signature Theatre, A Bronx Tale (Calogero, World Premiere) at the Paper Mill Playhouse, St. Louis MUNY: The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Mamma Mia! (Sky), Into the Woods (Jack) among others.
Barry Pearl (Sultan) is honored to be back with the Lythgoe family after playing "The King of Laguna" in last year's Sleeping Beauty And Her Winter Knight. Perhaps most recognizable as T-Bird "Doody" from Paramount's original motion picture, "Grease," and recent reprise with his co-star Didi Conn in Fox's "Grease: Live!" Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie (Original Cast, "Randolph McAfee"), Oliver!, The Producers, Baby It's You!. National Tour & Regional (select): "Professor Tinkerputt" in both NBC's, Bed Time With Barney: Imagination Island, Barney's Big Surprise, Happy Days: A New Musical, Twelve Angry Men (Pasadena Playhouse), Hairspray (3-D Theatricals), All Shook Up (Musical Theatre West), Anything Goes (Moonlight), Forum...(Norris), Assisted Loving (Capital Rep). Television (select credits): "Criminal Minds," "General Hospital," "House," "ER." Film (select credits): "The Newest Pledge," "My Favorite Martian," "Avenging Angel." Barry directs for stage, television, and film, and is a proud instructor for the special needs community at Joey Travolta's Inclusion Film Company. BFA, Carnegie Mellon.
Josh Adamson (Abanazar) A Lythgoe Family Panto favorite, he has been seen in A Cinderella Christmas and Aladdin And His Winter Wish with Ben Vereen at The Pasadena Playhouse. He was part of the Broadway workshop of Taboo with Rosie O'Donnell and Boy George. Other credits include ABC Family's "First Landing", U.S. National Tour of 360 London's Peter Pan, and the Theatre Critics Circle nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor" for his portrayal as Edward Bloom in Big Fish.
The Dance Ensemble will include (in alphabetical order): Armando Eleazar, Alexis Gilbert, KT Madden, Quinton Peron and Kiana Wood.
The Junior Dance Ensemble will include (in alphabetical order): Sophie Albornoz, Elena Dahms, Sophia Garcia, Jamal Johnson, Mikayla M. King, Emily Madden, Kennie Shen, JarEd Smith, Jonah Smith, Ashton Spaulding and Kaitlin Yamano.
The creative and producing team for ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH includes scenic and costume design by Lythgoe Family Panto creative department with additional scenic design by Ian Wilson, costume design by Albemarle; Lythgoe Family Panto, technical director Phil McCandlish and Andy Tyler and associate producer Patty Onagan. Lythgoe Family Panto executive producers include Kris Lythgoe, Bonnie Lythgoe, Becky Lythgoe and Jason Haigh-Ellery.
ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH previews tonight, December 7, at 7:00pm; will open on Friday, December 8 at 7:00pm and runs through Sunday, December 31, 2017 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.
Performances will be Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:00pm; Saturdays & Sundays at 12:00pm & 4:00pm. Performances on Thursday, December 21 are at 3:00pm & 7:00pm; Saturday, December 23 are at 11:00am; 3:00pm & 7:00; Wednesday., December 27 & Thursday, December 28 are at 3:00pm only and Sunday, December 31st will perform at 12:pm only.
Ticket prices range from $20 - $70 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Ticket prices are subject to change. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays: 11a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. - 4p.m.
Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, cutting edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and stand-up comedy performances, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 80,000 patrons each season.
Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.
Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register's "Best of OC" in the category of Live Theatre, and has been recognized by OC Hotlist in their "Best Theatre Group" winning first place in 2017 and 2016. The Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Harrison Ford, Val Kilmer, Gregory Harrison, Dan Lauria, Hal Linden, Wendie Malick, Rita Rudner, Charles Shaughnessy, French Stewart, Loretta Swit, and Bette Davis.