Musical Comedy Version of Ichabod Crane (British “Panto” Style) Arrives in Boston

Kiki Samko as Katrina Van Tassel and Jill Rogati as Ichabod Crane.

Kiki Samko as Katrina Van Tassel and Jill Rogati as Ichabod Crane.

Hold onto your seats, you are about to be blown away by a foreign art form that is more screwball musical comedy than Marcel Marceau. The group called “imaginary beasts” is returning to the stage from January 11 to February 2, 2013, at Boston’s Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street. They offer a very different take on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, having recast it as a British “panto”.

Far from the silent movement routines typically associated with the word pantomime, the British winter tradition of” Panto” is a hybrid comic form that is delightful fun for the whole family. No invisible walls or walking in place here, it’s just nonstop crazy action.

Current events and local references are crossed with theatrical magic and traditional Vaudeville routines, and at the center of the spectacle, the battle of good versus evil is played out. While audience members won’t have to leave their seats, they will be encouraged to participate by cheering the “goodies” and booing the “baddies”, for it is only with audience support that the good, right, and true can triumph in the end.

The Brits love it because it mixes popular culture and social mores, adds oddball twists so that the whole becomes a hilarious send up of tales normally told seriously. A well-loved tradition in the United Kingdom, Pantos are seen much more rarely in the US. But imaginary beasts is keeping the tradition alive in Boston—this time giving it an American twist. Using the familiar American tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as a springboard, the beasts’ ensemble collaborates to write their own script, where good always triumphs over evil and the spirit of wonder is very much alive.

For 2013 – Ichabod Crane and His Twisted Tale

Jill Rogati as Ichabod Crane, Kiki Samko as Katrina Van Tassel and Christopher Nourse as Grasper the Dog.

Jill Rogati as Ichabod Crane, Kiki Samko as Katrina Van Tassel and Christopher Nourse as Grasper the Dog.

So, you thought you knew all there was to know about Ichabod Crane and his midnight ride with the Headless Horseman? Think again! imaginary beasts turns Washington Irving’s classic tale topsy-turvy for us.

Sure it takes place in the familiar little town of Sleepy Hollow which finds itself under an evil enchantment cast by a mysterious magician. And again, it falls to young Ichabod to save the day. But can the hapless schoolmaster overcome his fears and superstitions enough to break the spell and win the girl of his dreams? Or will the Headless Horseman leave him – and the entire town — in the dust?

Directed by Matthew Woods, the cast includes Mikey DiLoreto, Derek Fraser, Molly Kimmerling, Amy Meyer, Christopher Nourse, Elizabeth Pearson, Jill Rogati, Kiki Samko, Michael Underhill, Matthew Woods, and Joey C. Pelletier as THE DAME VAN WINKLE.

Tickets and Performances

With general admission tickets priced at $20 and Students or Seniors at $15, it’s affordable for families and groups. You can call 617-933-8600, or go to www.bostontheatrescene.com

Friday, January 11th, 8 PM

Saturday, January 12th, 1 PM* & 4 PM* (*press performances)

Sunday, January 13th, 2 PM*

Thursday, January 17th, 7:30 PM

Friday, January 18th, 8 PM

Saturday, January 19th, 1 PM & 4 PM

Sunday, January 20th, 2 PM

Thursday, January 24th, 7:30 PM

Friday, January 25th, 8 PM

Saturday, January 26th, 1 PM & 4 PM

Sunday, January 27th, 2 PM

Thursday, January 31st, 7:30 PM

Friday, February 1st, 8 PM

Saturday, February 2nd, 1 PM & 4 PM

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