OCTOBER 2023 | Volume 232
East Van Panto Beauty and the Beast - Photo of Steffanie Davis by Emily Cooper - illustrations by Cindy Mochizuki.
East Van’s most beloved holiday theatre tradition is back with a wacky and enchanted spin on Beauty and the Beast!
The Cultch and Theatre Replacement (Vancouver) are thrilled to present East Van Panto: Beauty and the Beast, running November 22, 2023, until January 7, 2024, at the York Theatre, and running on-demand online, through RE/PLAY, The Cultch’s digital playground, December 18, 2023, until January 7, 2024.
Bright, business-minded Belle is separated from her free-spirited dad Maurice and becomes imprisoned in an enchanted specialty grocery store by a strangely familiar Beast who seems very set in his ways. Time is running out and Belle who must use her smarts alongside her new friends Miso Potts, little Tofu and their Bento Buds to flip the perspective of Belle’s captor and break the curse before the last cherry blossom falls.
East Van Panto, now in its 11th year, has become one of the top holiday season events for East Van and Greater Vancouver audiences. Known for its goofy and irreverent take on everything from politics to pop culture, its super local satire, lovable characters and pop song parodies, each Panto presents a familiar story in a completely original way. This year, a brand new award-winning writing team—JiveshParasram and Christine Quintana—reinvent the beloved classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast with a decidedly East Van spin.
“An East Van Beauty and the Beast of course demands a different perspective [than the original]. More specifically, the willingness to flip one’s own perspective,” says Parasram and Quintana. “What keeps a neighbourhood healthy is the willingness to hear each other out, be affected by how we see things, and most importantly—to be open to changing our minds… and that is the is the type of neighbourhood we live in [East Van].”
Returning director Anita Rochon (Snow White & Little Red Riding Hood) will bring the tale to the stage with performances from new and returning Panto performers: Steffanie Davis, Munish Sharma, Jason Sakaki, Mark Chavez, Maiko Yamamoto, Veda Hille, June Barry, and Mishelle Cuttler. And Veda Hille returns as composer with fun Panto renditions of songs by everyone’s favourite musical acts—from Billie Eilish to The Beach Boys!
“It is the silliest, most wonderful of traditions. And for me, it has become essential.”
— The Globe and Mail
"If the East Van Panto isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, what are you waiting for?"
— Georgia Straight
“You know it’s the holiday season again when The Cultch and Theatre Replacement light up the York Theatre with its annual pantomime.” — Van City Vince
“East Van Panto has earned its place as one of the best-loved holiday traditions in Vancouver…” — Colin Thomas
Written by Jivesh Parasram and Christine Quintana
Music by Veda Hille
Directed by Anita Rochon
Featuring: Steffanie Davis, Munish Sharma, Jason Sakaki, Mark Chavez, Maiko Yamamoto, Veda Hille, June Barry, and Mishelle Cuttler.
Set and Properties Designer Lauchlin Johnston
Scenic Illustrator Cindy Mochizuki
Costumes Designer Alaia Hamer
Lighting Designer Sophie Tang
Sound Designer Brad Danyluk
Choreographer Amanda Testini
Production Manager/Technical Director Daniel O’Shea
Stage Manager Emma Hammond
Assistant Stage Manager Jenny Kim
Producer Jamie King
WHEN: November 22, 2023 — January 7, 2024
Evening Shows: 7:00 PM
NOV 22, 23: Pay-What-You-Choose-Preview
NOV 24: Opening
NOV 25, 29–30
DEC 5, 6: FILMING
DEC 01-03, 07–10, 12–17, 19–23, 27, 29, 30
JAN 03, 05, 06
Matinees: 2:00 PM
DEC 03: Baby Friendly Performance
DEC 02, 09, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 27–31
DEC 17: VocalEye Performance
JAN 02–04, 06, 07
DEC 18, 2023–JAN 07, 2024
Available Online & On Demand
WHERE: York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.
TICKETS: In-person tickets from $39, with Pay-What-You-Choose previews. Digital tickets from $25. All tickets on sale now through The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or thecultch.com/event/east-van-panto
ABOUT THEATRE REPLACEMENT:
Theatre Replacement exists to create new, experimental and intercultural works of performance and public art works. These projects are built through a highly collaborative process, over extended working periods, and engage a diverse group of both ongoing and new collaborators. The company also supports the practice of making and sharing new work through our public programs, which include opportunities for mentorship, residency, professional development and networking. In addition, the company produces the annual East Van Panto, which evolved out of a special relationship with The Cultch and our local community. Now going on 11 seasons, the Panto is a beloved holiday tradition that puts a new, hyper-local spin on a classic form.
ABOUT THE CULTCH:
For 50 years, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver’s most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organisation operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver, as well as our online performance platform that reaches international audiences. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work.
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