by Lynn on December 18, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer

Streaming on line, Dec. 18, 19. Ross Petty Production in association with Crow’s Theatre.

Written by Matt Murray

Directed by Mike Flye and Tracey Flye

Music Supervision by Bob Foster

Director of Photography by Danilo Baracho

Choreography and musical staging by Tracey Flye

Costumes by Ming Wong

Cast: Thom Allison

Dan Chameroy

Eddie Glen

Sara-Jeanne Hosie

Hailey Lewis

Kimberley-Ann Truong

Alex Wierzbicki

This is the second year in a row that Ross Petty Productions’ family musical involving fractured fairy tales is taking place virtually because of the pandemic. It’s anticipated that for their 25th anniversary next year, it will be live and in person.

Allie (Kimberly-Ann Truong) is a bubbly, effervescent entrepreneur about to open her mushroom business to the public. But there is trouble ahead. Frostina (Sara-Jeanne Hosie), the evil villain of the story, plans on expropriating the Wonderland Castle and turn it into an ice palace with her magic powers. This would mean that Allie’s mushrooms would not last the frost. Something must be done.

Allie’s true identity is Alice of Wonderland fame, but she got such notoriety when she defeated the Red Queen that she changed her name and assumed another identity, hence the name Allie. Allie, two of her friends and Plumbum (Dan Chemeroy), an irreverent spirit with big hair and bad make-up join forces to defeat Frostina and her sidekick Algor (Eddie Glen). The journey is circuitous and requires they find the Chepfizer Cat (Thom Allison) for assistance.

There are actually two routes that the viewer can take with this story. The first is to watch the story unfold as it was meant to be. The second is that the viewer can pick their own journey, deciding at various points in the story in which direction to go. Each journey is fun and clever.

Matt Murray has written a story that at times is witty with double entendres for Plumbum that Dan Chameroy delivers with a delicious impishness.

The story is pared down for the digital presentation—in person the shows seem livelier, of course because the audience is that needed ingredient. In person the audience knows when to cheer and boo on cue. Digitally the audience is instructed first by Ross Petty himself to cheer Allie and boo the villain. When Frostina appears so does the word “Boo” and a sound effect of kids booing. Similarly they cheer when Allie prevails.

The background to every scene is in vibrant colours and creates a dazzling world that just invites the viewer in. It’s a wonderful melding of photography, animation and sound.

The performances are dandy. As Allie, Kimberly-Ann Truong is a lively, charming presence. She is a fine dancer and singer and imbued Allie with such positivity she is a natural leader. Dan Chameroy makes Plumbum as outrageous and endearing in equal measure. As Frostina, Sara-Jeanne Hosie is a villain who relishes the boos and meets each boo with an irritated “SHUT UP!” Hilarious. Eddie Glen plays Algor, Frostina’s hapless sidekick, with sweetness and irreverence, As the mysterious cat, Chepfizer, Thom Allison just dazzles in glitter and pizzazz.

The audience is so important in this kind of show when it’s live. These stalwart souls do their best to make this digital version work as well as the live version. It is fun entertainment for the family.

Ross Petty Productions in association with Crow’s Theatre.

Streams Dec. 18, 19.

Running Time: one hour.

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