Monday, March 20, 2023

Benny’s lighting up Hollywood panto!

FORMER Ormiston Park Academy teacher Benny Harris is lighting up Hollywood as he stars in Nigel Lythgoes’ Cinderella at the El Portal theatre in North Hollywood from November 27-December 19, 2010.

Benny from Purfleet has been over in Hollywood for a number of years now, nurturing a successful career. In Cinderella he plays Buttons alongside Broadway and stars from films such as Harry Potter.

Benny told YourThurrock: “This is great fun. I am working with a great cast. Rehearsals have been a blast and we are all set to go.

“it is an illustration of the variety of work you do in Hollywood.

The Gala opening night on Saturday, November 27th will be a major fundraiser for LA’S Best recognized as one of the nation’s top after school programmes.

In the style of the outrageous British holiday pantos, the Lythgoe Family (the people responsible for So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol) bring this wild, wacky and interactive holiday event to the States.

The age-old fairytale of Cinderella is set to modern music, including Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway,” Michael Buble’s “Just Haven’t Met You Yet,” and Jennifer Lopez’ “Let’s Get Loud.” This U.S. premiere panto has a comical twist and incredible magic such as a pumpkin turning into a carriage with real live ponies right before your very eyes!

This production stars FREDDIE STROMA (HARRY POTTER) as Prince Charming, JERRY MATHERS (Leave it to Beaver) as Cinderella’s Father and Broadway sensation JENNIFER LEIGH WARREN as The Fairy Godmother. The production will be helmed by BONNIE LYTHGOE from So You Think You Can Dance Australia, choreographed by Dancing With the Stars star MARK BALLAS and will feature magic by award-winning magician ED ALONZO, and fantastic costumes direct from London. The production also includes British comedian BENNY HARRIS as Buttons, introduces EDDIE DRISCOLL and MARK EDGAR STEPHENS as Evil Step Sisters Cowel & Seecrest, and features special guest star “Blitzen” – the white pony.

“Panto is for the whole family and something that truly unites family together in fun and entertainment,” says Kris Lythgoe, Executive Producer and CEO of Magic Pictures International. “It’s a must see over this holiday season.” This British version of Cinderella is fun for the kids, but clever enough to delight adults, a treat for the entire family.

After months of searching Southern California, the producers and celebrity judges, KARA DIOGUARDI, MARY MURPHY AND MICHAEL JOHNS whittled down 700 performers to just 30. On Tuesday, October 5, a panel of celebrity judges, including NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, FREDDIE STROMA AND BONNIE LYTHGOE, will select one young lady from the final 30 to star as the dazzling CINDERELLA.


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