Saturday, January 13, 2018

PANTO: "Sleeping Beauty," KATS-style

I am so looking forward to seeing "Sleeping Beauty and the Tangley Wood," the 17th annual Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society (KATS) pantomime. The show will be held in the Kennett High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27. Tickets are available at the door or at
The panto, as always, is family-friendly, with plenty of audience participation.
The other night we were invited to attend a rehearsal, where we chatted with cast members as well as director Gary Smith (also one of the KATS founders), his wife Caroline Smith, and assistant director Beth Holladay. 
This is the 12th year that Peter Giangiulio ("Baron Bombast") will be acting in the show, and he told me how much he enjoys the camaraderie and the fact that everyone associated with the production is so enthusiastic, dedicated and supportive. (Peter is also KATS board chair and the owner of Castle Rock Farm in Northbrook.)
This year's costumes are lovely and ornate. Gary Smith said he drew his inspiration for them from the Pre-Raphaelite paintings he saw this past summer at the art museum in his native Birmingham, England. 
Shelley Mae Mincer, who plays the King (as well as a Tree), was wearing a beautiful doublet embroidered with a mushroom, and Nancy Goyda, the Queen (also a Tree), was wearing a flowing robe and elaborate headdress. Both Shelley and Nancy are long-time KATS veterans. 
For many years the inimitable Kirk Fetters played the Dame (a hallmark of British pantomime), donning ever-more-elaborate gowns and towering wigs as the show went on. His death left huge (EEE, bejeweled) shoes to fill, and Caroline Smith said the role will "go fallow" for a year.

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