Cast Announced for The Magic Lamp

Full cast announcement and ticketing information for The Magic Lamp, running December 1-31.

Casting has been announced for the world premiere of the Bay Area’s newest holiday show: The Magic Lamp panto at the Presidio Theatre in San Francisco December 1-31. The cast for The Magic Lamp features versatile and popular actors including Rotimi Agbabiaka, Sharon Shao, Danny Scheie, Curt Branom, Renée Lubin, JM Appleby, Rinabeth Apostol, Scott Reardon and others (see complete cast list below). The production features an original script and music–setting the comic action in contemporary San Francisco–brimming with humor, audience participation, dance, magic and hope for the whole family. Panto is a traditional British holiday entertainment that combines slapstick humor, one-line zingers, outrageous characters and send-ups of current events. The creative team and cast bring high-octane credentials to this new show with magnificent costumes, musical parodies, dance, magic and over-the-top silliness. Twenty-seven performances will be given, including four public preview performances on December 1, 2, 3 and 4—see the complete schedule below. Tickets, priced $10-$75, may be purchased here. Families and friend groups of four or more will receive a Family Pack discount of 20%. The Presidio Theatre is located at 99 Moraga Avenue in the historic Presidio of San Francisco.


“Having started out our casting process with the dizzying complications of masks, social distancing and outdoor auditions, I’m excited that we’ve put together an amazing cast of Bay Area performers with ancestry from four continents,” says Tamroz Torfeh, director of The Magic Lamp. “Panto is the most popular form of live theatre in most of the English-speaking world – requiring comedy, dance and musical skills. The cast of The Magic Lamp will bring all of this to the Presidio stage with bells on, plus some holiday glitter!”


The cast for The Magic Lamp includes some of the Bay Area’s and the nation’s most accomplished and versatile musical comedy actors with credentials ranging from Broadway to American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Rep, CalShakes, Beach Blanket Babylon and others.

Rotimi Agbabiaka (Aladdin) Sharon Shao (Jazz)
Danny Scheie (Abba)
Curt Branom (Widow Twankey)
Renée Lubin (Genie of the Ring)
JM Appleby (Genie of the Lamp)
Rinabeth Apostol (Sultana)
Scott Reardon (Jarvis)
Matthew Kropschot (Pecker)
Ruby Day (Queeny)
Albert Hodge (Steeny)
Jen Brooks (Preeny)
Jaime Bardacke (Ensemble)
Maggie Connard (Ensemble)
Merrill Grant (Ensemble)
Lauren Howard (Ensemble)
Dian Sitip Meechai (Ensemble)
Paul Renolis (Ensemble)
Gary Stanford Jr. (Ensemble)
Ryan Patrick Welsh (Ensemble)

Cast bios may be found here.

Creative Team

Executive Producer Peggy Haas has assembled a creative team including director Tamroz Torfeh, dramaturg Christine Nicholson, assistant director Vernon Lewis, co-playwrights Christine Nicholson and Luther Hanson, creative contributor Mason Williams, musical director Bill Keck, technical director Jeff Gregory, production manager Patty Ann Farrell, production stage manager Karen Szpaller, production designer Sean Riley, lighting designer Stephanie Anne Johnson, projection designer David Murakami, costume designer Alina Bokovikova, casting director Liam Vincent, makeup designer Lindsay Saier, wig makers Timothy Santry and Calli Carvajal, props head Devon LaBelle, head artisan Matthew James and choreographer Stacey Printz.

Performance Schedule

Wednesday, December 1, at 7:30 pm (preview); Thursday, December 2, at 7:30 pm (preview); Friday, December 3, at 7:30 pm (preview); Saturday, December 4, at 7:30 pm (preview); Friday, December 10, at 7:30 pm; Saturday, December 11, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Sunday, December 12, at 2 pm; Friday, December 17, at 7:30 pm; Saturday, December 18, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Sunday, December 19, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Tuesday, December 21, at 2 and 7:30 pm, Wednesday, December 22, at 7:30 pm; Thursday, December 23, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Friday, December 24, at 2:00 pm; Sunday, December 26, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Tuesday, December 28, at 2 and 7:30 pm; Wednesday, December 29, at 7:30 pm; Thursday, December 30, at 2 and 7:30 pm; and Friday, December 31, at 7:30 pm.

About The Magic Lamp

The Magic Lamp script sets the story in contemporary San Francisco, with Aladdin as a bicycle messenger. Aladdin more than meets his match in Jazz, a strong independent young woman. Instead of a Sultan, the traditional disapproving patriarch has been re-envisioned as a powerful Silicon Valley Sultana. Following panto tradition, the production features a signature animal, in this case, Pecker the chicken and his clique of outspoken cluckers.

The Living Tradition of Panto

Panto is a beloved holiday family tradition in the UK and Ireland. For over 150 years, these seasonal comical adaptations of classic fairy tales have been told with music, slapstick, repartee, and audience interaction. While The Magic Lamp follows the storyline of the children’s tale Aladdin, the characters, setting and plot have been updated and informed by modern events, and the dialogue is spiced up with double-entendre that only the adults in the audience will understand and appreciate. Audiences will quickly get into the act, learning to cheer the heroes and boo the villains.

COVID Safety at the Presidio Theatre

The Theatre requires all guests to wear a mask at all times while inside the Theatre building. All guests 12 and older are required to show proof of full vaccination with a matching photo ID. Full vaccination is defined as two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Youth 12 to 17 can use a school ID, birth certificate, or social security card in place of a photo ID. Young children under five years old are not allowed.

About The Presidio Theatre

The historic Presidio Theatre was built in 1939 by the U.S. Army with funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Theatre is located next to the Parade Grounds on the Main Post of the Presidio of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 2017, after lying vacant for 25 years, the Theatre underwent a $44 million renovation transforming it into a contemporary performing arts center through the vision and generosity of the Margaret E. Haas Fund. The Theatre is now a home for a growing number of beloved San Francisco Bay Area artists and events including the Children’s Theatre Association of San Francisco and a new annual holiday show called Panto in the Presidio. In addition to presenting public performances and films, the Theatre offers free events for 7000+ public school children and teachers each year, hosts community meetings, provides classes and serves as a rental venue. Learn more by exploring our website or by following @presidiotheatre on Instagram.

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