A Snow White Christmas

Ariana Grande and Dwarves

A Snow White Christmas presented by the Pasadena Playhouse

Aside from seeing Spamelot on Broadway with the original cast, I don’t know that I’ve enjoyed a play more than I did tonight’s performance of A Snow White Christmas at the Pasadena Playhouse. The energy, humor, audience interaction, music, relevance, and even a few malfunctions made this Snow White one I’d willingly see again! Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe and produced by Lythgoe Family Productions, the musical direction of Michael Orland, choreography of Spencer Liff, this was truly a lively and seamlessly executed performance – and the ideal introduction into panto theatre. With a cast that couldn’t be better paired starring Ariana Grande, Jonathan Scott Meza, Charlene Tilton, Curt Hansen, and my favorite, Neil Patrick Harris, this is by far my most enjoyable version of a classic tale.

THE CAST:

Ariana Grande as “Snow White” (Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”)
Neil Patrick Harris as “The Magic Mirror” (“How I Met Your Mother”)
Charlene Tilton as “The Wicked Queen” (“Dallas”)
Curt Hansen as “Snow White’s Prince” (NEXT TO NORMAL, HAIRSPRAY)
Jonathan Scott Meza as “Muddles” ( “The Jumpitz”)
David Figoli as “Herman the Huntsman”

 

The play opens as Neil Patrick Harris’ voice-over tells us the story of Snow White with a few modern twists, including the moment techno music sounds throughout the theatre and Snow White comes out singing Lady Gaga’s, “I Was Born This Way”. Ariana Grande belts out a solid performance as backup dancers accompany her and the audience doesn’t hesitate to join in and immediately feed the energy on stage. As Ariana exits stage right, we are introduced to Muddles. Conveniently, he is armed with a water gun and the fun unfolds the moment he walks out. Played by Jonathan Scott Meza, he has an air of joy and wit that never misses a beat or ever falls short of carrying us through every second of his time on stage. Instructed to say, “Hiya Muddles” every time he says, “Hiya Kids” it was like being in a haven of innocence and whimsy, wonderment and hysterics with every child in the audience yelling out any time he, or any cast member for that matter, came out. The Wicked Queen played by the warmly theatrical Charlene Tilton lent the sadistic humor all good queens should embody with the grit of her voice, power of experience, and the quick witted reference of poking fun of “Dallas”. Neil Patrick Harris plays the Magic Mirror. His ability to make a single one-liner both charming and sarcastic is a gift no one else can do better. With the raise of an eyebrow and the undertone of Barney Stinson, the Magic Mirror is well, magical. The Prince played by the gleaming Curt Hansen arrives on stage with the candor of youth and the charm of Clark Kent. He’s funny and handsome as all princes should be but he has the confidence and timing that makes this Prince one to keep an eye on. It has to be mentioned that David Figoli with his deep and bellowing voice is also a worthy Huntsman. The Seven Dwarves played by a cast of children with some serious dance moves were certainly a pleasure to watch.

That said, the real surprise to me was Ariana Grande. Beautiful and undeniably talented, her renditions of modern songs like “Fireworks” by Katy Perry left me pleasantly endeared. Her vocal range is astounding. It must be said that as Snow White, Ariana has that beautiful sweetness we’ve all come to know and love but she has the air of sophistication, maturity, and ease that makes her a natural. Thankfully so starkly different than her character on Victorious, Ariana held her own. Even with a wardrobe malfunction (her yellow skirt came unhooked in the back and she subtly continued her lines while attempting to fix it), she never let the audience know something had changed and that I genuinely appreciate!

There is something so wonderfully entertaining about theatre that feeds off of the audience, interacts, joins in, and creates an experience that invokes a much needed sense of complete inhibition. With everything from a “Thriller” rendition to Huey Lewis sung by the Prince and Muddles, A Snow White Christmas is a definite must-see family performance. It is the warm and fuzzy you need this holiday season! Tickets are on sale now!

As for panto theatre and Lythgoe Family Productions, they’ve signed a long-term contract with the Pasadena Playhouse so you can expect to be hugely entertained every year from this point forward!

The one bonus feature is before the show, kids can enjoy crafts provided by Little Junebugs, photos with Santa, swords and fairy wands for less than $6, and even a little snowfall.

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

https://pasadenaplayhouse.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0NG000000BiO69MAF

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes (Including 15 minute Intermission)

A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS
Presented by The Pasadena Playhouse

A Lythgoe Family Production
Directed By Bonnie Lythgoe

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW
https://pasadenaplayhouse.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0NG000000BiO69MAFA SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS
Presented by The Pasadena Playhouse

A Lythgoe Family Production
Directed By Bonnie Lythgoe
“Those who have never been to a panto will have a glorious introduction to the forum.” – LA Times
An updated version of the classic tale, in the style of the traditional British family Panto, A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS features family-friendly magic, a comedic twist and modern music. A Panto is known for its interactive style and humor that appeals to fairytale fans of all ages.

Kris Lythgoe, with Lythgoe Family Productions, is on a mission to bring Panto Productions to the United States, “We are thrilled to be partnering with The Pasadena Playhouse. Pantos are a British tradition. This interactive, modern musical show will be enjoyed by the entire family.” The Lythgoes have created television shows such as “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”. Audiences will enjoy modern music from Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars.

Featured actors include: Ariana Grande from Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” as Snow White, Charlene Tilton from “Dallas” as the Wicked Queen, an on screen appearance by Neil Patrick Harris from “How I Met Your Mother” as The Magic Mirror and a beautiful white pony named Blitzen.

Plus, each ticket includes admission to our “Winter Wonderland” festivities of family-friendly holiday activities and treats. There will be special crafts, games and joyous holiday music. Our concessions will offer holiday goodies and delights at special family prices. And, our favorite friend Santa will be visiting from the North Pole and available to take photos as a keepsake to remember your visit of attending A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS at The Pasadena Playhouse.

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes (Including 15 minute Intermission)

The full cast for A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS features:

Ariana Grande as “Snow White” (Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”)
Neil Patrick Harris as “The Magic Mirror” (“How I Met Your Mother”)
Charlene Tilton as “The Wicked Queen” (“Dallas”)
Curt Hansen as “Snow White’s Prince” (NEXT TO NORMAL, HAIRSPRAY)
Jonathan Scott Meza as “Muddles” ( “The Jumpitz”)
David Figoli as “Herman the Huntsman”

In addition to director Bonnie Lythgoe, the creative team for A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS includes choreography by Spencer Liff (Emmy nominee for “So You Think You Can Dance”), musical direction by Michael Orland (“American Idol”), book by Kris Lythgoe, scenic and costume design by Lythgoe Family Productions creative department with additional costume design by designer Julia Clancy, Donna Maas and Kleev Guessford, additional scenic design by J.J. Wickham (LFP producers include Kris Lythgoe, Bonnie Lythgoe, Becky Baeling and Jason Haigh-Ellery).

For more information, visit http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/box-office/mainstage/a-snow-white-christmas.html