Sleeping Beauty + Frog Prince = “SleepFrog,” This Year’s Panto in Ghent [Berkshire on Stage]

Nellie Rustick as Fortuna and Judy Staber as Salubria in “SleepFrog” at the Ghent Playhouse.
Nellie Rustick as Fortuna and Judy Staber as Salubria in “SleepFrog” at the Ghent Playhouse.

by Larry Murray

This is the most creative and family-friendly show in the Berkshire-Albany orbit. The Pantaloons come around every Christmas, and their show is completely new different every year. Fans go back year after year to see what craziness they have come up each season, it never fails to tickle the funny bone. As a result, the Pantaloons always ends up selling out. If you are a first timer, there’s no time to dither about it, make the plunge and firm up your plans now. The Pantalons have taken a grand old theatrical tradition – a British import – to which they have added lots of our own local twists.

If you are not familiar with that great British tradition called holiday “pantos” then you are in for a real treat. For one thing, there’s no connection to mime at all. Instead you will discover it is a fast-moving show for all ages, full of exuberant singing, dancing and merry making, all performed in some of the most ridiculous costumes (and wigs!) ever devised. There’s innocent but hilarious cross-dressing, plus a story line that’s a mash-up of familiar fairy tales, local lore and current events.

It opens on Friday, November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving) and runs through Sunday, December 15.

This year, the madcap troupe will present “SleepFrog”, a merry merger of two well-known fairy tales in a version never before seen of “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Frog Prince.” Frogs, fairies and royals abound amid spells, songs and enough schtick to keep you awake and hopping.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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