The best holiday show I’ve seen (so far) this year

Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto, The Cultch, The York Theatre, Allan Zinyk

Pink brocade turns Allan Zinyk into an evil stepmother in Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto. It does not have the same effect on me. (I’ve checked.)

Hands down, my favourite holiday show (so far) this year is Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto.

It’s original, it’s community-minded, it’s a little outrageous, and it’s got kids in it. What’s not to like? 

Veda Hille’s songs are witty and full of fun. Charlie Dermers’s script is packed with local jokes. Dawn Petten’s Hansel is a perfect, pompous little clown. Allan Zinyk plays not one but two dastardly villainesses. And Marina Szijarto’s costumes are outrageous.

And there may be more good fun to come. Tonight, I’m seeing Presentation House Theatre’s award-winning production of Where the Wild Things Are, which is being presented by Carousel Theatre. I’m taking my goddaughter’s son to that one—yes, that’s how old I am—and we’re both looking forward to it. (I’ll be tweeting about Wild Things tomorrow. If you want to stay current, you can follow me on Twitter: @ColinThomasSays.

Hansel and Gretel runs at the York until January 3. And Where the Wild Things Are is on at Performance Works until December 20.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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