Toronto theatregoers know it’s holiday season when Ross Petty Productions, with its zany cast of characters hit Toronto’s Elgin Theatre stage with another fracture fairy tale. In celebration of their 15th year, the company is presenting Beauty and the Beast, The Savagely Silly Family Musical from November 25, 2010 — January 2, 2011 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.
This is not your Disney classic…no dancing candlesticks or singing clocks, here folks. Cast aside by animal pop stars as magically created by the evil Barnum von Cowell. Shy Prince Edgar enters into a Faustian deal with Barnum and inadvertently becomes the Beasty Boy of the title. Our Beauty is the apple of Edgar’s eye and even she cannot escape the vindictive spell of von Cowell.
Jake Epstein is returning to the Petty fold as the hirsute hero, he played Cinderella’s Prince in 2008. Fans of CTV’s Degrassi, the Next Generation will remember him as hunky, Craig Manning. Just off a U.S. stage tour, of the musical Spring Awakening, Epstein is currently writing a play with his mother, renowned author, Kathy Kacer.
“It’s always so exciting and so stressful putting on a show like this. We’re constantly rewriting the script, improvising, and making each other laugh. There’s really no other kind of show like Ross Petty’s pantomimes. Night to night it’s gonna change, but it’s gonna be a blast for everyone,” promises Epstein.
Joining Epstein in Beauty is Canadian Idol winner from 2005, Melissa O’Neil, who plays a graceful Beauty with rocker pipes, gorgeous Jake Simons, who starred in Dirty Dancing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and loveable comic foil, Eddie Glen, who brings laughter and joy into the Beast’s gloomy life.
As a special treat, Petty has enlisted Scott Thompson; of Canada’s famed sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall, and from The Larry Sanders Show, as Beauty’s guardian.
“As a long-time fan of Kids in the Hall, I’m delighted that Scott will be joining us in our world premiere of Beauty and the Beast,” says Petty. “Our holiday shows at the Elgin draw inspiration from Monty Python, and Scott and the Kids are the Canadian equivalent. I look forward to sharing the stage with one of Canada’s zaniest comedians.”
Completing the cast is Petty himself; once again returning as the force of evil…year after year audiences takes great pleasure in booing his villainous characters. Beauty and the Beast, The Savagely Silly Family Musical is directed by Ted Dykstra, choreographed by Tracey Flye, the book is by Lorna Wright & Nicholas Hune-Brown, and Mark Camilleri is the musical director.