Niagara Falls, roller skates, Canada's mythical lake creature and drag... it's all in there. Yup - definitely a panto! I can't embed the video but you can get a short preview of the (wacky) stage show HERE.
What is Pantomime? Here's a brief summary, which should also give you an idea of what Petty's Little Mermaid is like:
Pantomime is a curious entertainment - a form of ritual theatre staged around the winter solstice. Originally silent (a form of mime), it is now anything but, with extensive vocalisation from both the performers and the audience.While the US has more musicals and obviously G-rated family friendly stage plays touring at this time of year, it's usually the British (and their friends) that take the turn into Panto territory. With the emphasis on irreverence and layered (but still family friendly) fun, it's easy to see why it became a strong tradition back during the dark, cold and (sometimes too long) Winters of the Northern Hemisphere.
The stories are generally well-known (drawn from popular folk-tales and similar sources), populated with stock characters, including a principal boy, generally played by a young lady with shapely legs, the heroine, also played by a young lady (which gives an added edge to the inevitable romance) and a dame, played by a man as a comic exaggeration of a middle-aged lady. Scripts change from year to year, but generally contain four strands of humour: visual, topical, corny and, occasionally, downright rude. In the UK this is considered to be family entertainment.
There's nothing like a belly laugh to take away your Winter blues!
As for how Mr. Petty "panto'd" The Little Mermaid... I'm just going to put the blurb here:
For over 18 years, Ross Petty has created one of the longest-standing theatrical traditions in Ontario with his annual holiday pantomime, a truly unique creation that brings Canadian stars together on stage for a remarkable run of theatrical fun. Ross Petty Productions has Toronto awash with excitement to catch The Little Mermaid, a must-sea this holiday season!
Petty and his team mark their first-ever foray into the fishy fairy tale, and in true Petty fashion, anyFIN goes! Chilina Kennedystars as the Little Mermaid. With an aquatic collection of friends by her side, the title character’s quest for true love and happiness is aided by Dan Chameroy’s sea-lacious Dame Plumbum, returning to the Elgin stage with his perennial persona as the Little Mermaid’s aunt. Starring opposite Kennedy as the handsome Prince, and the buoy of her dreams, is actor and Canadian Idol Season 1 finalist, Marc Devigne, Second City funnyman Reid Janisse, who also penned the O-FISH-AL script .One radiant redhead by the name of Jordan Clark, winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 4, while fan-favourite Eddie Glen returns as Petty’s reluctant sidekick. Petty himself is trading in his
spanks for scales to tackle the role of Ogopogo, the evil serpent sea wizard.
The Little Mermaid plays at the Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, Toronto from November 22, 2013 (opens November 28) to January 4, 2014. Tickets can be purchased online atwww.rosspetty.com by phone at 1.855.599.9090 or in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office.