PORT ANGELES — The Lincoln Theater will come to life this Friday during the premier of “Snow White and the Five Housemates,” a locally-written Christmas musical comedy and pantomime that its writer has said is jam-packed with fun for the entire family.
“It’s not where you come and sit in the seats and politely clap,” writer Shannon Cosgrove told members of the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday.
“There’s audience participation. When our evil stepmother Grimelda comes on stage you are encouraged to ‘boo’ her heartily.”
She said it’s not the kind of performance to get dressed up for and encouraged people to dress for comfort. Pajamas are not too casual for the show.
This is the first time the public will have a chance to check out the Lincoln Theater, 132 E. First St., since it closed in March 2014. Though the renovation is far from done, the inside has been transformed for the comedy. Chairs have been provided and the interior is trimmed in holiday decorations.
The musical, presented by the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce and Nemesis Theater Productions, will show this Friday through Sunday and from Dec. 14 to 16 at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets are $15 each or $10 for people 18 and under and can be purchased online at chambersignups.com or at the night of the show.
Organizers encourage people to order tickets online because of the limited seating capacity. Only 180 seats are available each night.
The musical comedy is being co-directed by Naomi Alstrup of Sequim and Cosgrove of Port Angeles.
Cosgrove said she was astonished to see the transformation of the Lincoln Theater, which was completely gutted until recently, and credited its owners Marty and Deborah Marchant with allowing her “creative dreams to come true.”
Jam Properties of PA, LLC, the Marchants’ company that owns the theater, has been working with the City of Port Angeles to secure temporary use and occupancy permits for the shows.
As work on the theater progressed over the last couple months, actors rehearsed at the former Fanaticus Sports Grill.
Cosgrove promised the show will provide good laughs for everyone in the family. She expects children to understand many of the jokes, but said that there are plenty of laughs to be had for adults too.
She said that because it is a traditional British panto (pantomine), the performance will feature re-written songs by Taylor Swift, Queen and others.
“I completely re-wrote staying alive for impoverished villagers,” she said. “Panto in its truest form was entertainment for working people and we tried to stick to that model.”
She described the work as a “fairytale turned on its head.” Snow White isn’t too interested in being a princess. She’s in love with the huntsman and not the prince.
“It’s a fairytale,” she said. “It doesn’t end how you think it’s going to end.”
The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce has financed the show, leaving the creativity to Cosgrove and Alstrup.
“The chamber took on the funding, so we haven’t had to pay for costumes or worry about anything other than creating a really good show,” Cosgrove said.
Chamber Director Marc Abshire said the chamber partnered with the Marchants with the goal of getting the community excited about the renovation of the longtime movie house.
“We’re just trying to keep the Lincoln alive and support the effort to get it renovated,” Abshire said. “We’re not doing this to make money. We’re doing it to develop community.”
He said that like the ice skating rink that the chamber brought to downtown Port Angeles, the goal is simply to bring people downtown and build excitement.
“It’s really an effort by the chamber to make positive things happen in our business community and we view the Lincoln Theater as a iconic and important venue,” he said.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].