Review: Snow White (Ross Petty Productions)

Snow White

Ross Petty Productions has something for everyone in Show White at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre

The holidays are (almost) here. I know because Ross Petty’s pantomime Snow White: The Deliciously Dopey Family Musical! opened last night at the Elgin Theatre.

If you’ve been to any of Ross’ other pantomimes you’ll know that just because it’s called Snow White doesn’t mean that it will resemble the fairy tale that you remember. It’s funny, silly, and good fun. Lots of ‘groaner’ jokes to make the kids laugh and enough ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ to keep the adults paying attention. There were local jokes and political jokes and local political jokes. There was even a Gangnam Style dance.

Something for everyone.

This year the seven that we associate with Snow White isn’t dwarfs; it’s 007 – James Bond channelled by Graham Abbey – complete with a cabin full of Bond gear, Bond girls in gold lame, a shag carpet, and a beanbag chair.

There is an evil step-mother, Ross Petty plays the Evil Queen. Her name is bound to make kids laugh so I won’t write it here. Lots of funny silliness from the scheming queen.

A couple of characters have wandered in from other fairy tales. There’s Ham (Reid Janisse), one of the Three Little Pigs. His brothers’ houses were blown down by the Big Bad Wolf but he managed to escape. He also Don Cherry very well. Pinocchio (Billy Lake) is his Ron MacLean complete with puns.

A very exuberant Little Red Riding Hood (Bryn McAuley) is Snow White’s best friend. She speaks in ‘chatspeak’ and there were times that I didn’t understand what she was saying. Too old to chat maybe!

Jack (David Cotton) is the prince character. He’s a good Ontario boy, born in Kingston, who played in the OHL before giving in up in favour of peace, order, and no more fighting. He’s referred to as Jack the Giant Killer and Jack of the Beanstalk so he covers two fairy tale characters at the same time.

Eddie Glen is Infestus the Fool. And a lovely lively fool he is, advising the Evil Queen and then escaping to help rescue Snow White.

Last but definitely not least is Snow White, played by Melissa O’Neil. I think that the main female part in a pantomime must be the hardest. Everyone else gets to play things very broadly, hamming it up. The main girl has to play it fairly straight. “Snowy” stayed calm amid the chaos around her and treated us to some wonderful singing.

Snow White is a terrific family outing.


Snow White is playing at the Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street) until January 5, 2013
– Performances are at 7 pm or 6 pm on Sundays. Saturday matinees are at 2 pm and Sunday matinees at 1 pm. Best to check the site for days and times.
– Ticket prices range from $27.00 to $85.00 plus a $5.00 service fee. Buy in person and save the service fee. There are group and family discounts available.
– Tickets are available at the box office, by phone at 1-855-599-9090 (Toll Free), and online.

 Photo of Ross Petty and the cast of Snow White by Michelle McTeague