Ellie King’s Snow White will bring all the color, magic, slapstick comedy and groaner puns of traditional British pantomime to Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage, Dec. 20-29. (Contributed photo)

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Club 240

Crescent Legion’s Club 240 (2643 128 St.) is the location for regular Live at Club 240 Friday-night dances, with a variety of bands presented by the Total Music Group (TMG, formerly Semiahmoo Music Consortium), along with other special Friday and Saturday events throughout the year and a regular Wednesday bluegrass jam.

Coming up this Saturday (Dec. 14) at 8 p.m. is Victoria-based Big Hank’s Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas with the seven-piece R & B Kingpins.

Far from the usual selection of carols, they offer a unique collection of traditional blues Christmas tunes from the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, by the likes of Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, Etta James and more.

Tickets and info: the legion box office (604-535-1043).

Tickets for regular TMG dances ($20) are on sale at brownpapertickets.com

Aladdin

White Rock Players Club’s Christmas pantomime (continuing to Dec. 29 at White Rock Playhouse) comes up a winner with a colourful version of the time-honoured classic Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.

This one is written by Chase Thomson and co-produced by Charles Buettner and Dann Wilhelm (Robin Hood and the Skytrain of Doom) – who also directs, with musical direction by Marquis Byrd employing many classic Freddie Mercury/Queen and Elton John hits.

It’s long (close to three hours at Friday’s official opening) but retains the interest of younger audience members, and a lot of that has to do with the energy of the players, including the small-but-eager supporting cast.

Adrian Shaffer thoroughly fits the bill as an appealing and tuneful Aladdin, with Sara Morales likeable as wilful Princess Jasmine, joined by always reliable laugh-getter Ray Van Ieperen (as the dame Widow Twankey), Reginald Pillay (hilarious as the Emperor) and Jake Hildebrand giving a powerhouse performance as the scheming villain Abenazar.

Also strong are Christopher Hall as an ultra-flamboyant Genie of the Lamp, Janelle Carss as the humorously conflicted Genie of the Ring, Paige Thomsen as Aladdin’s underappreciated brother Wishy Washy and Dianna Gola-Harvey as Jasmine’s eternally put-upon handmaiden Handy.

Tickets ($24, $20 seniors and students) are available from whiterockplayers.ca or call 604-536-7535.

Choral Christmas

Crescent Choirs’ Lux Children’s Choir, directed by Samara Ripley Bortz and the Vancouver Orpheus Male Voice Choir, directed by Liana Savard, will share the stage for the second time to present Nowell! Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church 2350 148 St.

A benefit concert for the Kay Hogg Goodwill Group of the Peach Arch Hospital Auxiliary Committee, the concert combines Lux (second youngest choir in the Crescent Choirs program, primarily students in Grades 3-7, supported by a few Youth Choir mentors) with Orpheus, an active part of the vibrant Lower Mainland choral community since it was first established in 1992.

The Orpheus program (also featuring talented student instrumentalists Brooklyn Wood, violin; and Colin Cheng, flute) includes traditional English carols, some involving audience participation; songs for the younger members of the audience; songs that retell the Christmas story from both Mary’s and Joseph’s perspectives; contemporary carols; and a few surprises.

Lux’s program will include John Rutter’s I Will Sing With The Spirit; Bob Chilcott’s Can You Hear Me? and the popular novelty Grandma’s Killer Fruitcake.

Tickets ($25; seniors $22, students $12, under 12 free are available from 604-536-5634 or online at www.vancouverorpheus.org

Blue Frog

White Rock’s popular intimate recording studio/live concert venue Blue Frog Studios (1328 Johnston Rd.) continues to promote concerts by world-class touring talents – including local and Lower Mainland-based acts.

Coming up this week (Dec. 13 and 14) is hot tribute band Kalimba: The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire (still tickets available for the 7 p.m. early shows).

And tickets are still available for both shows of the tribute Ray Charles: The Spirit of Christmas, featuring dynamic singer Mike Henry on Dec. 28.

For tickets and information on this and presentations scheduled for early in the new year, visit bluefrogstudios.ca

Ellie King panto

Director/playwright Ellie King’s popular Royal Canadian Theatre Company pantomime returns to Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave., from Dec. 20 to 29, with Snow White.

With traditional British-style book, music and lyrics by King and her husband (and partner-in-crime) Geoff, the panto – also featuring their son James as the dame, promises all the colour, razzle-dazzle and groaner puns that make pantos family fun each year

Tickets are available online through the official website, rctheatreco.com or by phone, at 604-501-5566.

Messiah

Handel’s immortal 1741 oratorio, Messiah, will be performed in full on Saturday, Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. at Peninsula United Church, 2756 127 St., presented by the Handel Society.

With choir and orchestra directed by the society’s new conductor, Paula De Wit (of White Rock Community Orchestra and Chilliwack Symphony fame), the performance will also feature Michelle Koebke (soprano), Lauren Pearl (alto), Thomas Lamont (tenor) and Andrew Greenwood (baritone).

Tickets ($25, $20 seniors and students, and children, 16 and under, free) are available online at handelsociety.ca, 604-591-2632, at Tapestry Music or Christopher’s Gift Gallery, and at the door.

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