Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Lythgoe Family Panto have announced a very special holiday event, Cozi Zuehlsdorff ("Dolphin Tale" Films), Joely Fisher (Broadway: Cabaret, "Desperate Housewives"), Barry Pearl ("Grease"), The Book of Mormon's Benjamin Schrader, Jeff Sumner (Genie in Disney's Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular), "American Idol" finalist Vonzell Solomon and Conor Guzman(Pasadena Playhouse; The Fantasticks) starring in SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT, book by Kris Lythgoe, choreography by Spencer Liff, musical supervisor Michael Orland, musical direction by Michael Sobie and directed by Linda Goodrich.
"Last year's holiday confection returns with an all-new Lythgoe Family Panto event on our stage!" comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham. Remarks Becky Lythgoe, "We are delighted to be back at the Laguna Playhouse with our second show and with this extraordinary cast for a truly magical holiday show!"
SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT will begin performances on Wednesday, December 7; will open on Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm and will run through Friday, December 30, 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.
Broadway and TV stars perform in this interactive musical fairy tale with comedy, magic and pop music sure to delight children of all ages! SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT is based on the European fairytale where a Princess called Aurora has a curse put on her by an evil fairy Carabosse. By her 18th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for 100 years. The Royal family live under the protection from Silly Billy and Nanny Tickle but Aurora does prick her finger and falls asleep for 100 years. A handsome Prince saves the day by defeating the wicked fairy and giving Aurora a true love kiss.
Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairytales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together. Past Panto at Laguna Playhouse productions include A Snow White Christmas starring Marina Sirtis and Lindsay Pearce.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
COZI ZUEHLSDORFF (Aurora) is best known for her role as Hazel in the feature films "Dolphin Tale" and "Dolphin Tale 2" opposite Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and of course "Winter" the Dolphin! A versatile actor, Cozi enjoys working on Disney shows such as "Liv & Maddie," "K.C. Undercover," "Mighty Med," and "Sofia the First," as well as playing dramatic roles like that of a piano prodigy with a brain tumor on TNT's "MondayMornings." This Spring, look for Cozi in a starring role in the movie "Pure Heart: Pure Country 3" where she had the honor of singing with country legend Willie Nelson. As a singer/songwriter Cozi's album "Brave Souls" received a coveted spot on the "Dolphin Tale 2" soundtrack. Following the release of her EP "Originals," she produced and co-directed the video for her single "Handpainted." In the EDM space, Cozi's collaborations on "The Girl," "Where I'll Be Waiting" and "Nevada" have received over 10 million views on YouTube.
Barry Pearl (King of Laguna) His 55+ year career highlights include: Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie, Oliver!, The Producers, Baby It's You! Tour & Regional: Happy Days: A New Musical (National, "Arnold"), Grease (1st National, "Sonny"), Twelve Angry Men (Pasadena, Juror #7), Hairspray (3D and MTW, "Wilbur Turnblad"), and All Shook Up (MTW, Jim Haller), Anything Goes (Moonlight and CMT, "Moonface") and the recent Cheers Live On Stage ("Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso". TV: "Stan Weaver" in Fox's Emmy Award-winning, "Grease: Live," "Criminal Minds," "General Hospital," "House," and "ER." Film: "Doody" in Paramount's hit, "Grease," "The Newest Pledge," "My Favorite Martian," And "Avenging Angel."
Joely Fisher (Caraboose) stands out as a star of television, musical theatre, and motion pictures. Her "sensational and sexy" turn as Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway as well as the National touring company, earned her raves. Joely made her Broadway debut in Grease. Her sexy, comic turn as "Paige," the monstrously ambitious, seductive Hollywood executive on the historic and groundbreaking ABC show, "Ellen," introduced her to television audiences around the world, and earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She next starred opposite John Goodman in FOX's series "Normal, Ohio" playing the hilariously fascinating combo of a young caring mother who just happened to be a "bit of a slut." Other television credits include: starring on the hit CBS series "Baby Bob" and two season starring in her own series "Wild Card" for Lifetime. In 2005, Joely joined the cast of the hit television series "Desperate Housewives" where she played Felicity Huffman's tough and very complex boss Nina Fletcher. Fisher then returned to television opposite Brad Garrett for four seasons in Fox's highly anticipated sitcom "'Til Death." Currently Joely recurs on ABC's "Last Man Standing" opposite Hector Elizondo. Joely's film credits have placed her opposite some of the finest actors in film, like Jim Carrey in "The Mask," Steve Martin in "Mixed Nutes," and Nick Nolte in "I'll Do Anything." Her crowning achievement to date was starring with Matthew Broderick in the $100 million-grossing Disney film "Inspector Gadget." She is a stand out in such indie films as "Perfect Prey", "Slingshot" and the anticipated "Killing Winston Jones" and "Search Engines." This year, she wil; be seen in "Tribes of Palos Verdes" opposite Jennifer Garner as well as "The Disappointments Room" and "By the Rivers of Babylon." Her television movies include the lead in NBC's "Thirst," Showtime's, "Jitters," and ABC's "Seduction in a Small Town." and "Cupid" for Hallmark.
Benjamin Schrader (Silly Billy) grew up in Seattle, Washington where he began his acting career at The Village Theatre and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. He eventually moved to New York City, and in 2007 began workshopping Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway mega-hit The Book of Mormon and went on to be a member of the original Tony winning Broadway cast. Benjamin received a Grammy certificate for The Book of Mormon Grammy Award-winning cast album.
Schrader has also starred on Broadway in Avenue Q, the 2009 revival of Ragtime and helped develop the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal. In 2013 Benjamin toured the country with the TONY Award-winning production of Peter and the Starcatcher directed by the legendary actor/director Roger Rees.
Other recent highlights include the Walt Disney Academy Award-winning animated feature Frozen where he can be heard as Brother Troll, HBO's True Detective, and ABC's Revenge among others. In addition to his performing career Benjamin is a director where his work can often be seen at the world famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles where he consults on professional magic shows. Benjamin lives in Los Angeles.
JEFF SUMNER (Nanny Tickle) is thrilled to be back in heels with Lythgoe Family Panto having previously played the Wicked Stepsister in A Cinderella Christmas. For over 8 years, Jeff played the hilarious Genie in Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular. FILM: Dumb and Dumber To (opposite Kathleen Turner); The Heart Specialist; Like You Mean It and his international award-winning short, Dirty Talk. TV: Rosewood; Clipped; Togetherness, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty. THEATRE: Skullduggery; Tonya and Nancy: A Rock Opera; Happy Days-National Tour; Little Shop; The Nerd; Mental. SOLO SHOWS: The Eccentric Buffet and My Life in Plastic.
Conor Guzman (The Prince) A NYC-based actor/writer, Conor is a proud UMich grad (go blue!) and has recently appeared (performing alongside Hal Linden) as Matt in the Pasadena Playhouse's revival of The Fantasticks, Prince Eric in Cabrillo Music Theatre's, The Little Mermaid, and Prince Topher in the Gateway Playhouse's Cinderella-The Musical.
Vonzell Solomon (The Good Fairy) also known as "Baby V," is an internationally known singer, songwriter, producer, recording artist, model and actress. Second runner-up on the fourth season of the hit FOX Television series, American Idol. Although she has been compared to many music industry veterans, like Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé, this young powerhouse continues to prove that she's not just another newcomer to the entertainment industry. Her grace, elegance, vocal range and electrifying performance wow fans all over the world. Vonzell has toured with a variety of shows ranging from American Idol to Broadway and as a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service. She has also been seen on prime time talk shows such as The Tyra Banks Show and Regis and Kelly. Following her amazing performance on "American Idol," she created and launched her own record label and publishing company.
The creative team for SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT includes scenic and costume design by Lythgoe Family Panto creative department with additional scenic design by Ian Wilson, lighting design by Chris Wilcox, costume design by Albemarle, Florencia Carrizo and Donna Maas, technical director Phil McCandlish (LFP producers include Kris Lythgoe, Bonnie Lythgoe, Becky Baeling and Jason Haigh-Ellery).
SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT previews on Wednesday, December 7 & Thursday, December 8 at 7:30pm; will open on Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm and runs through Friday, December 30, 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.
Performances will be Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 11:30am; 3:30pm & 7:30pm; Sundays at 11:30am & 3:30pm. There will be additional performances on Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30; Friday, December 23 at 3:30pm & Thursday, December 27 at 11:30am; 3:30pm & 7:30pm. There will be no performance on Saturday, December 24 at 7:30pm or Sunday, December 25.
Ticket prices range from $30 - $70 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.comor by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Ticket prices are subject to change. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays: 12p.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. - 4p.m.