‘Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose’ at Pasadena Civic Auditorium Wed., Dec. 13 – Sun., Dec. 24

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A fabulous family musical in the fun-filled British Panto style

“From a writer’s point of view, it’s wonderful seeing the work go from page to stage…,” says producer/writer Kris Lythgoe of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose.” Pictured are Kris and Becky Lythgoe.
Earl Gibson.

Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose is an ultra-entertaining holiday musical that is ready to blossom at The Pasadena Civic Auditorium from Wednesday, December 13 to Sunday, December 24.

Beauty is presented by Lythgoe Family Panto which embraces the wild and wacky British Panto theatre style, offering top stars singing popular songs, plus lots of dancing and outrageous comedy to delight the entire family.

Producer/writer Kris Lythgoe said, “The joy of producing a Panto is bringing families together at Christmas time. We are proud that grandparents are being entertained along with the grandkids, and sharing the live theater experience gives them a memory that will last a lifetime.”

An updated version of the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose stars lovely Kelli Berglund (Disney XD’s Lab Rats) as Belle, hunky Jonah Platt (Broadway’s Wicked) as The Beast; James Snyder (Broadway’s If/Then) as the manly-man Gus; Gedde Watanabe (Pacific Overtures, John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles) as Belle’s father Marcel; the wickedly funny team of Harrison White (The Lion King) as Dame Chanel and John Tartaglia (Shrek The Musical) as Louis Vuitton; and Jared Gertner (The Book Of Mormon) as Gus’ sidekick Pierre. The production is staged by Broadway director Sheldon Epps, choreography by the acclaimed Mandy Moore (La La Land), with book by producer Kris Lythgoe and music direction and arrangements by Michael Orland (American Idol). Bonnie Lythgoe serves as Executive Director.

Children attending the Student Matinee of Lythgoe Family Panto’s
production of “Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight.”

Producer Becky Lythgoe did the casting and bragged about the performers and creative team and their impressive Broadway, TV and movie credits. Becky explained, “Like putting together a puzzle, assembling all this talent is a challenge because everyone is in demand. But they arranged their schedules to be part of this family show. From the beginning our goal was to take all the elements of the traditional British Panto that are fun and exciting and add a Broadway quality to appeal to American audiences. Now we’re blessed with all this talent wanting to be part of the creativity.” Kris Lythgoe added, “From a writer’s point of view, it’s wonderful seeing the work go from page to stage, with the director, choreographer and performers taking the vision to the next level.”

Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose is a great love story and adventure enhanced with songs that were big hits for artists like Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Maroon 5, and Imagine Dragons. “We open with Gus who is the macho man who wants to marry Belle, strutting the streets of the village singing the Bee Gees’ ‘Staying Alive.’ And Lionel Richie’s hit ‘All Night Long’ is our ‘Be Our Guest’ showstopper when Belle meets the Beast at the castle,” Kris revealed.

The entire cast will join in singing pop hits enjoyed by all generations. Keeping with the Panto tradition, spontaneous audience interaction is always encouraged for kids and grownups to cheer for Belle and the Beast and booing the bully Gus. That’s what makes the Pantos so much fun.

This December, Lythgoe Family Panto will offer their largest season yet, with four different productions playing concurrently in Pasadena, Laguna, San Diego and Houston. As part of the organization’s goal to develop theatre for young audiences, a portion of Lythgoe Family Panto’s proceeds from Beauty and the Beast will be donated to Pasadena Playhouse’s outreach and education programs. And Kris said, “We will be hosting students from various schools and organization so kids can have their first live theater experience.”

“Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” has a limited engagement – 14 performances only, Wednesday, December 13 to Sunday,  December 24 – at The Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 300 East Green St. in Pasadena. Tickets start at $29 and are available online at Ticketmaster.com/PantoPasadena or by calling The Pasadena Civic at (626) 449-7360.

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