The Pantaloons’ Annual Treat in Ghent: “Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves” [Berkshire on Stage]

December 3rd, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara

the Pantaloons

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

In these days when wages are stagnant, money is tight and the rabid consumerism of the late 20th century has lost all its luster, we are being encouraged to spend what disposable income we have on experiences, rather than objects. At the Ghent Playhouse, a $20 investment buys you one of the best holiday experiences available – a ticket to the Panto! And this year’s offering – Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves – is a gift that will keep on giving as you fondly recall the groaningly bad, er, good jokes, the hilarious costumes, and the wonderful songs.

What is a Panto? Well, it is a British theatrical tradition for the holiday season. Basically you take a familiar fairy tale or folk tale, have all the men play the women and the women play the men, add lots of new and (hopefully) witty lyrics to well-known tunes, and ignore the plot completely. There is lots of audience interaction – you get to boo the villians and sing along a bit and shout “He’s right behind you!” and such – and there’s a healthy mixture of topical humor on current events along with good old fashioned schtick. Only the most conservative and humorless of folks can fail to be amused by the goings-on.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


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

November 25th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Sara
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.

Holly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!G.C. HaymesCapital District Habitat For Humanity