Reviews for 'The Year Without a Panto Claus'


The Year Without A Panto

by Carla Milarch and R. MacKenzie Lewis

December 1 - 31, 2018


2017 was a bummer of a year. When Santa gets depressed, he decides to pack it in and disappear. Two of his elves search far and near looking for some genuine Christmas cheer. Arriving at a few decidedly un-Christmas-y locations, they face the wrath of the Miser (Heat and Snow) twins, the town’s grumpy citizens, and a mysterious Russian bombshell named Vixen. From the team that brought you An Almost British Christmas and Sugar Plum Panto, this hilarious romp is just what the therapist ordered to add a little levity to your holiday season. Bring the whole family to laugh, boo, hiss, and sing your way through another fun-filled night of heroes and villains, updated pop songs, holiday favorites, and merriment.


The Year Without a Panto Claus features Ramona Burns, Lisa Michaels, Scott Screws, William Powers, and Coleman Grengs, and it is directed by Melissa Freilich. The production and design team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Allan McMillan (lighting design), Cal M. Schwartz (costume design), Becky Fox (properties), and Michelle Resnick (stage manager, props).


Laugh Your Seasonal Cares Away with “The Year Without a Panto Claus” at Theatre Nova

"If you love slapstick, song and dance and sly political humor...The audience of all ages was smiling ear to ear. If you’re looking for some holiday fun for the entire family, this is the place to be." - Wendy Wright


PULP: Arts Around Ann Arbor
Mash-Up 'Mime: Theatre Nova's "The Year Without a Panto Clause" 

"A panto, short for pantomime, is a variety show that developed in England in the 18th century that employs song, dance, comedy, and much more to tell a Christmas-related story. This year’s panto, The Year Without a Panto Clause, is written by Theatre Nova artistic director Carla Milarch and features original songs by the show’s music director, R. MacKenzie Lewis, who has composed music for Nova's previous two pantos as well as for last year’s hit musical Irrational." -Emily Slomovits



‘Panto Claus’ is raucous holiday fun

“'Panto Claus' is a good example of the panto art form. It’s loaded with topical and physical humor, smart wordplay, exaggerated stock characters, and pleasing music – some of it original, some traditional Christmas songs, and others clever parodies of popular songs (“Rolling in the Deep,” “Happy”).

There was also some rowdy audience participation, especially from the under 12 members of the audience." - Encore Michigan Review



This activity is supported by the
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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©2018 Theatre NOVA, 410 W Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103 • • 734.635.8450 • EIN 47-1762735