NOVEMBER 2021 | Volume 209


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East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland
by Sonja Bennett
Theatre Replacement
The Cultch
York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr.
Nov. 24-Jan. 2
From $69 in person; from $35 online or 604-251-1363

East Vancouver's favourite holiday tradition is back at The Cultch's York Theatre! 

The Cultch and Theatre Replacement are thrilled to present East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland, at the York Theatre and online, November 24, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022.

In this year's ninth annual East Van Panto, Alice follows the White Rabbit onto the Skytrain and into a Grandview-Woodlands Wonderland! While exploring this delightfully odd East Vancouver neighbourhood, she encounters transit police officers Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb, a busking Cheshire Cat, gets some questionable advice from a kooky caterpillar, and has a heck of a time at a Commercial Drive leftist tea party. Once Alice discovers that the dastardly online mega-store owner, The Queen of Hearts, is using cookies (chocolate chip, that is!) to secretly steal East Van-ers data, she decides to stop her before all the local shops are priced out of existence. The East Van Panto has never been so upside down! 

Taking the Panto reins for the first time, writer Sonja Bennett and director Meg Roe join long-time composer Veda Hille to transform Lewis Carroll's beloved classic. "Re-imagining Alice in Wonderland as a holiday-musical-comedy-political-satire has been stupidly fun," says Bennett. "Collaborating with Meg and Veda on this ridiculously joyful creative venture has been a career highlight. They are both geniuses. I'm so excited for the world to see what we've cooked up."

Long-time Panto favourites Dawn Petten, Amanda Sum, Raugi Yu and Mark Chavez, as well as Panto newcomer Ghazal Azarbad take on the roles of Alice in Wonderland's cherished characters. And while most Panto fans will be thrilled to be able to attend in person once again, fans of 2020's all digital Panto Come Home will be happy to know that there is still an option to watch from the comfort of their own homes. "The Cultch team is beyond excited to do the East Van Panto live and in person this year," says The Cultch's Executive Director, Heather Redfern. "AND we are super excited because the show is going online as well! Our audience told us just how much they loved being able to share their favourite holiday tradition with their friends and families far and wide, so online is becoming another facet of the East Van Panto tradition! We are so lucky to be able to share this holiday treat with those we love." 

"It is a highlight of my every December." — Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

"A holiday tradition that joyously skewers convention." — Kathleen Oliver, the Georgia Straight

"A great deal of fun for both adults and kids" — Vancouver Presents

Written by: Sonja Bennett
Directed by: Meg Roe
Music by: Veda Hille 
Musical Director: Ben Elliott
Choreographer: Amanda Testini

Cast: Dawn Petten, Amanda Sum, Mark Chavez, Ghazal Azarbad, Raugi Yu

Orchestra: Ben Elliott, Barry Mirochnick

Chorus: Angus Yam, Katherine Matlashewski, Samantha Levy

Set Designer: John Webber 
Visual Concept Design: Cindy Mochizuki
Lighting Designer: Sophie Tang
Costume Designer: Barb Clayden 
Sound Designer: Brad Danyluk


NOV 24 & 25: 7:00pm PREVIEW
NOV 27 & 28 7:00pm
NOV 27, 28: 2:00pm
DEC 1 - 4, 9 - 12, 15 - 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30: 7:00pm
DEC 4, 11, 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31: 2:00pm
JAN 1 & 2: 2:00pm

DEC 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30: 7:00pm
DEC 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30, 31: 2:00pm
DEC 28: 12:00pm
JAN 1: 2:00pm
JAN 2: 7:00pm

*all showtimes in PST


A special holiday treat! Watch anytime, anywhere! Or share the wonder of Panto with friends and family all around the world! Friday, December 24, 12:00 am PST to Saturday, December 25, 11:59 pm PST

Be our studio audience! For a select number of performances, you'll get the same Panto fun plus be a part of the filming magic! All tickets just $35. 
Sunday, December 5, 3:00 pm
Sunday, December 5, 8:00 pm
Wednesday, December 8, 7:00 pm

IN-PERSON: York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver B.C.
ONLINE: The comfort of your own home, anywhere in the world.

TICKETS: Online tickets from $35. In-person tickets from $69. Tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or online.

Theatre Replacement is an ongoing collaboration between James Long and Maiko Yamamoto. Whether working together or apart, we use extended processes to create performances from intentionally simple beginnings. Our work is about a genuine attempt to coexist. Conversations, interviews, and arguments collide with Yamamoto and Long's aesthetics resulting in theatrical experiences that are authentic, immediate, and hopeful. In 2019, Yamamoto and Long were the first co-recipients of the Siminovitch
Prize in Directing. 

Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organization operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, and various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver. 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.

The Cultch is located on the unceded Indigenous land of the xwməϴkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.



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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews