Click your heels three times and go to the Lythgoe Family Panto holiday musical extravaganza
Singers and dancers and Oz, oh my!
Dorothy and Scarecrow and Kermit, oh my!
Lion and Tin Man and Good Witch, oh my!
The Wonderful Winter of Oz is a holiday musical that is wickedly entertaining at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium from Saturday, December 15 to Sunday, December 30. It is a Lythgoe Family Panto presentation which embraces the wild and wacky British Panto theatre style, featuring stars singing popular songs, plus lots of dancing and outrageous comedy to delight the entire family.
It is a magical show with Kermit the Frog playing the wonderful Wizard of Oz. In an exclusive interview with The Tolucan Times, Kermit reported, “It’s an honor to play a part in this Lythgoe Family Panto. It’s a great tradition and a lot of fun. Playing the Wizard is a total dream come true. I’m green, Emerald City is green. It’s like I was born to play this role.”
Joining Kermit is a dream cast of talented performers including Mackenzie Ziegler (Dancing with the Stars: Juniors) as Dorothy, and Juan Pablo Di Pace (Fuller House, and Dancing with the Stars’ recent perfect score darling) as the Cowardly Lion. Also Jared Gertner (Book of Mormon) as Scarecrow; Phil LaMarr (Mad TV) as Tin Man; Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (FOX’s Grease: Live!) as Wicked Witch of the West; and Hailee Payne and Valerie Rockey of So You Think You Can Dance.
Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway’s Hairspray, and Celebrity Big Brother winner) plays Glinda the Good Witch. Winokur said, “The moment I knew Kermit would be part of this show I knew it would be extraordinary. I’ve seen every Lythgoe Family Panto since Kris Lythgoe first introduced this British tradition here. I’ve enjoyed them with my kids, and now I get to be in one. I love playing the Good Witch because I want all the kids to cheer for me. At the Pantos, kids are encouraged to cheer the heroes and boo the villains, and the Wicked Witch will have the kids booing her. I want to hear the cheers, especially when I sing ‘Rainbow Connection’ with Kermit. There are really big production numbers and I’ll be singing and dancing along with the entire cast.”
Kermit noted, “I think the audience will be very happy. Y’see, the Panto is a lot like what we do with the Muppets— musical comedy with lots of singing, dancing, crazy gags and slapstick. I feel right at home in this show. It’s a Lythgoe Family Panto, so anything is possible. I’m kind of hoping you’ll all come and join me in the singing. There are so many songs about rainbows. I wonder why that is?”
The Wonderful Winter of Oz is a holiday version of America’s classic The Wizard of Oz tale, done in the style of a traditional British Panto.
On Christmas Eve, Dorothy gets swept away by a “freak” Kansas blizzard and lands in a world of munchkins, with lots of dancing from So You Think You Can Dance alumni. The all-star cast will sing current hits and classics interwoven in the show. In addition to “Rainbow Connection” the songs will include the Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” (sung by the Wicked Witch) and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.”
The production is directed by Bonnie Lythgoe; choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo; book by Kris Lythgoe; musical direction/arrangements by Michael Orland (American Idol); and casting by executive producer Becky Lythgoe.
Click your heels three times and go to the Lythgoe Family Panto, in association with the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, presenting “The Wonderful Winter of Oz” from December 15 to December 30 at The Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 300 East Green St. in Pasadena. Tickets start at $40 and Family Four Packs for just $99 can be purchased at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium box office, online at ThePasadenaCivic.com or by calling (626) 449-7362. Golden Tickets, which allow the ticket holder (children ages 4 – 12 only) a special on-stage experience during the production, are available for an additional $75 each.