Long ago and far away in a forest lived a Council of Immortals, destined to live forever. One day a girl named Necile, an adorable Jane Shearin, discovers a newborn baby boy. She implores the regal leader of the Immortals, AK, a commanding Jimmy Johansmeyer, to break the rules and allow her to keep this human and raise him. Naming him Claus, we watch him grow, at 8 (Nicholas Ferreira) and at 13 (Nick Porello), until he reaches maturity as a young man, a compassionate Justin Rigg. This original musical tale has been adapted by Bert Bernardi for book and lyrics and Justin Rigg for music from a book by L. Frank Baum.
Pantochino Productions will bring enchantment to the tale "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" weekends until Sunday December 18 at the Milford Center for the Arts at the train station. Come meet Claus's adopted family that also includes Queen Zurline, a helpful Mary Mannix, Peter Knook, a noble George Spelvin, and the Elf Calon, a funny sidekick Andrea Pane, as well as the Awgwa Sisters, an imposing Dale Allen and Shelley Marsh Poggio ( who do double duty on the side of goodness too) who want to destroy Claus and end his kind deeds. The evil sisters even send a trio of warriors (Kylie Poggio, Dani Corrigan and Olivia Foley) to capture Claus and Calon and spirit them away from Laughing Valley, the Land of Ho Ha Ho.
When Claus came of age, he set out with Calon to find children to help by making them happy. He learned to make toys of wood and he soon gave them out with great success. The bad sisters want to stop him and put an end to happiness and joy. They'd much rather plunder and pillage. How will Claus be saved or is he doomed? Will Claus be able to fulfill this great destiny? How will a Tree of 1000 Lights help his cause?
Also in the ensemble singing and dancing are Nathan Horne, Jaxon Beirne, Hazel Foley, Adeline Horne, Genevieve Horne, Brianna Joy Jackson, Hannah Kupson, Thea Ryan and Matthew Sullivan. As usual the costumes by Jimmy Johansmeyer are exceptional. This family holiday production is being staged and directed by Bert Bernardi with affection and charm.
For tickets ($20 online, $22 at the door), go to www.pantochino.com. Shows are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Remember on Saturday, it is cabaret style and perfect for parties or lunch at your table. Note that a Master Class for students 12 and up will be held with Marissa Perry, the original Tracy Turnblad in "Hairspray" on Broadway on Thursday, December 29. Register at www.pantochino.com.
Discover for yourself how to get Happiness and Joy and learn all over again that "in all the world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child."