May 12, 2023
Sleeping Beauty Returns!
Holiday magic returns to the Presidio Theatre in 2023 with Sleeping Beauty the Panto, back by popular demand.
The annual holiday tradition of Panto in the Presidio returns to the Presidio Theatre with a remounting of Sleeping Beauty full of magic, humor, music, dance and a message of hope for all ages in 28 performances November 25 through December 30. A popular hit when it premiered in 2022, the over-the-top musical re-imagining of the classic fairytale is set in the magical kingdom of Pantoland, a mythical realm that bears a striking resemblance to contemporary San Francisco. Produced by Peggy Haas and directed by Liam Vincent, this is a Sleeping Beauty like no other. Characters and details include the princess and prince, an evil, scene-stealing witch named Hernia and Bay Area native fairies. They are joined by a lovably whacky palace cook, the regal Queen and her King (“he has a great personality”), a talking dog, a chorus of dancing, singing chickens and (spoiler alert!) a consensual awakening kiss. Panto is a traditional British holiday entertainment that combines slapstick humor, one-line zingers, outrageous characters and send-ups of current events. Audiences get into the action by booing the villains, cheering the heroes and the occasional pelting with candy tossed from the stage. Tickets, priced $20-$60, may be purchased here:
Twenty-eight performances will be given, kicking off with five previews Saturday, November 25, at 1 pm (preview); Sunday, November 26, at 1 pm (preview); Wednesday, November 29, at 6 pm (preview); Thursday, November 30, at 6 pm (preview); Friday, December 1, at 6 pm (preview); OPENING NIGHT Saturday, December 2, at 6 pm; and subsequent performances Thursday, December 7, at 6 pm; Friday, December 8, at 6 pm; Saturday, December 9, at 1 pm and 6 pm; Sunday, December 10, at 1 pm; Thursday, December 14, at 6 pm; Friday, December 15, at 6 pm; Saturday, December 16, at 1 pm and 6 pm; Sunday, December 17, at 1 pm; Thursday, December 21, at 1 pm; Friday, December 22, at 6 pm; Saturday, December 23, at 1 pm and 6 pm; Sunday, December 24, at 1 pm; Tuesday, December 26, at 1 pm and 6 pm; Wednesday, December 27, at 1 pm; Thursday, December 28, at 1 pm; Friday, December 29, at 6 pm; and Saturday, December 30, at 1 pm and 6 pm.
“We were thrilled with audiences and critical response for the premiere of Sleeping Beauty last year, so we decided to bring back the magic and fun,” says Executive Producer Peggy Haas, creator of Panto in the Presidio. “As critics pointed out, this is a family holiday production that proudly represents the best of San Francisco and the Bay Area with joy, welcome, hope and signature panto irreverence and laughter.”
“I can’t imagine a more stellar creative team and cast to reawaken the magic of Sleeping Beauty,” says director Liam Vincent. “These are performing artists all of whom have top theater, music and dance credentials. They deliciously elevate this rich and complex comedic artform of panto and make it crave-ably relatable for Bay Area audiences.”
About the Creative Team and Cast
Executive Producer Peggy Haas has assembled an all-star creative team including director Liam Vincent. Playwrights are Stephanie Brown and Richard Ciccarone. International music legend Mason Williams and musical director Bill Keck’s whimsical score features pop and classic rock songs with re-written lyrics. Sleeping Beauty features magnificent costumes by Alina Bokovikova and production design by Sean Riley. Christine Nicholson is dramaturg and Phoebe Angeni is assistant director. Choreographer Stacey Printz, technical director Jeff Gregory, production manager Patty Ann Farrell and production consultant Karen Szpaller complete the team.
Much of the cast from the world-premiere performances in 2022 will return, including some of the Bay Area’s most versatile, acclaimed and popular performers: Rotimi Agbabiaka, Andre Amarotico, Daniel Benitez, Phaedra Tillery Boughton, Ian Brady, Curt Branom, Jen Brooks, Maggie Connard, Ruby Day, Merrill Grant, M. Javi Harnley, Matthew Kropschot, Renée Lubin, Dian Meechai, Kaylee Miltersen, Scott Reardon, Sharon Shao, Gary Stanford Jr., Mercury van Sciver, Eiko Yamamoto and Ryan Patrick Welsh. New to the cast for 2023 are Stacy Ross and Gwen Tessman.