Mission’s ONTS theatre group is presenting its annual Christmas Panto. This year they are presenting the story of the Princess and the Pea. / Joe Samorodin Photo

Mission’s ONTS theatre group is presenting its annual Christmas Panto. This year they are presenting the story of the Princess and the Pea. / Joe Samorodin Photo

Christmas Panto returns for another year

Mission ONTS theatre group presenting the Princess and the Pea

Christmas is coming, and that means it’s time for the annual Opening Nite Theatre Society’s (ONTS) Christmas Panto.

This year the local theatre group presents The Princess and the Pea and as usual the group’s slightly odd take on this classic story will leave audiences young and old alike with a big smile on their faces.

The story is hijacked by Fairy Nice and Fairy Naughty, who have made it an annual tradition to meddle in the affairs of mere mortals.

Fairy Naughty (played by Camille Atebe) wants to derail the whole thing and make everyone miserable, while Fairy Nice (played by Jennie Bice) is hoping that matches will be made and everyone will be left happy (except her devious sister, of course!)

The Princess and the Pea features a stellar cast featuring many regulars such as Karen and Mark Humpage, Petra Atebe and Sofya Bice, and some newcomers to ONTS including Tony Ivan O’Hara and Les Hatklin.

Every character will make you laugh, and the musical numbers are catchy, upbeat and infectious. The story follows poor Prince Richard (Mina Lee Thomas) as he tries to find a wife before his 21st birthday.

Why the rush? Well, there’s a curse, of course, and if he doesn’t marry by his 21st, he’ll bring a terrible fate upon his kingdom.

There are two princesses (Lana Roberts and Kat Sloan) who would be more than happy to marry him, but he’s got to make sure that they’re true royalty. With help and interference from the fairies, the palace staff, and Richard’s batty aunt Gladys (Collen Griffiths), things just might work out in the end.

The Princess and the Pea opens tonight (Dec. 8) and runs until Dec. 17. The show picks up again in the new year from Jan. 5-14.

Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children (two-12) and children under two are free). You can also buy a family pack for $35 (it includes admission for two adults and up to three kids).

Tickets can be pre-bought at openingnitetheatre.com or reserved at ontstickets@hotmail.com or call 604-826-ONTS. Tickets are also sold at the door if available.

The ONTS theatre is located at 33223 Railway Ave. in Mission.