If you love a laugh, Mission's community-based Opening Nite Theatre will have it in spades with this season's production, Puss in Boots, the Panto.
If you're unfamiliar with panto, it's a British tradition of raucous musical comedy that spread to the Commonwealth countries and is traditionally performed through Christmas and New Year's.
A panto is typically adapted from a familiar story such as a fairy or folk tale, with broad creative licence, mixed boldly with song and dance, bad jokes, political digs, a love story, and sometimes bawdy allusions.
The characters are often over the top, and all usually ends well, sort of.
The panto's multi-layered approach is as entertaining for adults as it is for children, for audiences aged two to 102.
Panto, adapted from the word pantomime, refers to imitation of personalities, and is used often to mischievously mock certain high-minded folks in the community.
With roots in ancient Greece and the Middle Ages in Italy and England, pantos are aimed at the masses, and certainly not intended to be high-brow.
The British genre has certain basic ingredients: slap stick humour, cross-dressing, a horse, and sweethearts. Usually there is audience participation. These days it's also family friendly.
Mission's Opening Nite Theatre has proudly carried on the tradition for the past six years.
It seems only natural, as the community theatre "has a lot of old Brits," explained Camille Knight, who wrote and directs the play.
The company also wanted to do something that was child-friendly, but it still has some naughty bits, promises Knight.
"There are lots of double entendres that will fly over the heads of the kids, but the adults will love them," she said.
Plus, it's a lot of fun for the actors involved, who include many familiar local faces.
The storyline follows the amicable Fairy Nice, (played by local ace fiddler Jenny Bice), and Fairy Naughty, (singer Susan Dearing), when the two land in ancient France to stir up some trouble among the locals.
Impoverished Andy, portrayed by Kelli Corscadden, and his mum are losing hope when the family cat decides that it's time he takes charge and make them millionaires.
The wily Puss, played by newcomer Michael Morris, plots to match Andy to the beautiful but cynical Princess Zola.
Will true love conquer all, or will Fairy Naughty get her evil way?
Others include Mahara Sinclaire and Gary Craw-ford as minstrels, Tony Loyer and Travis Nick as a comic peasant duo, and the young daughters of Bice and Knight.
And of course, what is panto without the beloved dame, played by the accomplished and witty Gerwyn Mills, who will surely keep everyone in stitches.
? Puss in Boots' opening night on Dec. 14 is a fundraiser for the Mission City Farmers Market.
Tickets are $12 general, $30 per family of four, $8 for children ages 3-12, kids under 3 are free.
Shows run Dec. 14 - 16, Jan. 4 - 6 and Jan. 11 - 13, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Get tickets Murdoch's Bookshoppe on First Avenue, or at ONT, at 33223 Railway Ave., both in Mission. For more informaiton: openingnitetheatresociety.tripod.com or call 604-832-8089.