Home for the Holidays

A NOTE FROM ROSS PETTY

After 25 years of producing my holiday family musicals at Toronto’s historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, the farewell production “Peter’s Final Flight” in 2022 brought the curtain down on a quarter century of hilarity that introduced the magic of live theatre to thousands of children and their families.

When December 2023 arrived, where once the rafters of the Elgin Winter Garden shook with raucous laughter, boos and the latest pop songs, the silence at Yonge and Queen was deafening. My inbox exploded with untold emails, texts and DM’s wondering as to how to fill the void.

WE ARE BACK!

The answer my friends is that we’re back this December 2024! The emptiness will be filled! Yonge and Queen will be rocking once again!

Canadian Stage, Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre, had been looking for a winter event to balance their long-running Dream in High Park every summer. My conversations with Artistic Director Brendan Healy and Executive Director Monica Esteves quickly came to fruition to breathe new life into the Pantos. Our first production this winter will be a Toto-ly Twistered version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, written by our six-time Panto scribe Matt Murray, directed by Coal Mine Theatre co-founder Ted Dykstra, choreographed by Jennifer Mote and music directed by Mark Camilleri. Delighted to bring back an artistic team that has done great work in creating many past years of Family Musicals for the Elgin Winter Garden stage. I will now have the very lofty title of Executive Producer Emeritus, but you can still feel free to boo when you see me in the audience!

YOUR FAVOURITE’S RETURN!

You can also look forward to the riotous return of Dan Chameroy as the outrageous Plumbum with brilliant funnyman Eddie Glen unleashing his triple threat talent as the Tin Man! As an added treat, the lovely and talented Vanessa Sears will transition from playing the innocent Juliet in The Stratford Festival’s ROMEO AND JULIET, to the Wicked Witch of the West. Now that’s what I call versatile!

We can’t wait to have you join us on the Yellow Brick Road this December. Welcome Back to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre!

Ross Petty

Peter’s Final Flight

25th ANNIVERSARY BOOK!

Ross Petty is the king of the Canadian Family Musical. For more than a quarter century he produced live theatre versions of these beloved fractured fairy tales. Ross has employed Canada's foremost musical theatre performers and legions of Canadian artists and designers to create and perform these original works. He recently published a book about this grand adventure, which actually began at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1984 when he starred with his wife Karen Kain in Dick Whittington and his Cat. Filled with hundreds of colour photos, including Ross' remembrances of every show, and featuring a who's who of Canadian showbiz, 25+ Years of Family Musicals is a must-have keepsake of this fascinating chapter in our cultural history. No theatre-lover should be without it.

The book will be on sale at the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre Centre during the run of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Testimonials

With the state of the world in total upheaval, Lewis Carroll’s fantasies feel like the perfect entertainment for the times. So Ross Petty Productions’ Alice In Winterland – its second annual virtual panto offering – should entertain loyal fans and earn new followers suffering from pandemic fatigue. And there’s even more fun audience participation in store if you decide to watch the Pick Your Own Path version of the show. Since links to the show are available for 72 hours, you’ll have enough time to watch both versions.
Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine
This ‘Alice in Winterland’ placed a smile on my ol’ face. It charmingly brought me back to some wonderful memories of reading classic stories, sharing laughter during the Christmas and holiday season, and just being a kid again for a little while. There’s nothing wrong with that. Read full review
Joe Szekeres - OnStage Blog
“No holiday season is complete without a Ross Petty production.
Big laughs and big fun for the whole family.”
CTV
"What a wonderful afternoon. Remarkably joyful performance!"
Svetlana L.
"Amazing show as usual! We are in our 6th year at the Elgin. Can’t wait for next year."
Consuelo S.
"You have made so many memories for so many families. I can attribute the love of theatre that my 5 nephews and niece enjoy to the positive experiences you provided. I want to insure that you know how profoundly you have touched my family and how grateful we all are for the investment of time and energy that it takes to bring such a labour of love to life. We thank you for years of laughter and joy!"
Colette D.
Dear Ross Petty and all your team,
What a fabulous production of Peter Pan!
You all were truly wonderful, and followed the tradition of the Panto in the best possible way. My wife and I were celebrating 37 years of marriage and for our anniversary we booked tickets for your show. We were truly delighted with the entire production, the humour, the dancing, the singing just everything was so amazingly classic. Keep up the great work Ross we will be bringing the entire family of 9 people next Christmas for your show for sure!!!
Steve & Linda T.