Darren Fuss as Baron Polski O'Gorkie (the prince's helper)

Christmas Pantomime tells story of Rapunzel

Both experienced and novice performers from Nelson will bring this fairy tale to life in December.

The Capitol Theatre is presents the 26th annual Christmas Pantomime this year featuring Rapunzel on December 5 to 8 with five performances.

The story is loosely based on the original Brothers Grimm Rapunzel, one of the most well known fairy tales written in 1812.

The unmistakably famous line “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair” has become an idiom of popular culture and has been retold in movies, books and other presentations.

The Capitol Theatre Christmas Pantomime is a Nelson tradition that features a cast comprised of local community players ranging in age from six to 60. This year’s panto features experienced actors like Bruce Ormond and Michael Pearce, plus first-timers like Darren Fuss and Deb Kozak.

“Directing the Panto is fun and exhilarating. The combination of actors from all ages and levels of experience is the best a director for this community production can ask for,” said director, Karen Agnew.

Find yourself in a deep dark Russian Forest in the cursed, manless Kursk Village where you are welcome by Baba (played by Mary Defeo) who has lost her wand.

Meet the prince, played by Eli Geddis, looking for true love and encounter the witch, played by Sydney Black, who tries everything in her power to prevent happiness.

Mackenzie Hope amuses as the distressed Dame Lobelia with a big worldly attitude. There are pixies and gypsies, a dancing bear, perogies-on-a-stick and borscht.

Panto audiences are always invited to participate in the show and this year is no exception. Children and adults alike will delight in singing along, talking back and letting the prince and the witch know exactly what they think of them.

Pantomimes are designed for a multi-age audience, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from physical comedy and one-liners, to all the singing and dancing that are traditionally seen in this type of show.

Agnew spends a lot of her time at rehearsals just giggling.

“I never quite know what to expect. The cast always surprises me with some little gem that makes their character just perfect.”

Not only is there a large cast onstage, but there are dozens of volunteers backstage.

“Lisa Lowther and Tom Lavis, an incredible team of very talented painters, have done an amazing scenery painting,” says Agnew.

“Mary Anderson has taken on the huge task of props master for this Panto and Leslie Dickinson from the Capitol Costume Shop with her volunteers is busy getting all the outfits together and the precision involved makes a production like this look super professional. It’s all about participation, and it sure wouldn’t happen without our stellar volunteers.”

The Capitol Theatre has announced that the Kootenay Coop is this year’s show sponsor.

Showtimes are December 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and December 7 and 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth or seniors and $45 for a family of four. Buy online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca or call 250-352-6363 Tuesday thru Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.