Pantochino announce 2022-23 season at Milford

Pantochino Productions Inc., Milford’s award-winning non-profit professional theater for family audiences, has announced its 2022-23 season featuring cult classics, family favorites and an exciting new musical. Co-producers Bert Bernardi and Jimmy Johansmeyer founded and have run the company since 2010 with performances at MAC, Milford Arts Council. The new season is generously sponsored by the Town of Milford and Devon Rotary.

“This season is a true reflection of our mission to entertain, enrich and engage family audiences with a range of original and affordable musical theater offerings,” said Bernardi. “We have something for everyone this year,” added Johansmeyer.

Pantochino will open its season in October with a Halloween-themed double title.

For family audiences, a new musical by Bernardi and composer Justin Rugg, “School Spirits,” debuts. Billed as a Halloween “high school” musical, members of Pantochino’s company will be joined by young actors from his Teen Theater program. “It’s a perfect treat for the whole family,” Bernardi said. “School Spirits” plays the weekends of October 14-30.

Also in October, Pantochino’s acclaimed production of Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” returns for an October 21-30 order performance engagement. Last year’s sold-out series starred Johansmeyer as Dr. Frank N. Furter, who will reprise the role. The cult classic musical features audience participation and the famous “Time Warp”.

For the holidays, the company will release a second new family musical, “Pantochino’s Christmas Carol Panto”. Based on the Dickens classic, this new take promises fantastical whimsy and unexpected holiday delights. “We draw inspiration from our company – the ‘Panto’ – a wild and wonderful brand of family theater enjoyed by audiences on holidays in England,” said Johansmeyer. “We are the go-to theater company for fresh, fun and campy family theater.” he added. The show runs from December 2 to 18.

For Pantochino’s famed Teen Theater company, Bernardi and Johansmeyer have chosen the musical “We Will Rock You” as their winter 2023 project. Featuring music by Queen and Ben Elton, the story is set in a dystopian world run by the Killer Queen who bans musical instruments. A handful of rebels challenge the almighty queen as they fight for individuality, freedom, and a rock renaissance.

“There are great roles for young actors and a timely message for the show as well,” Bernardi said. Pantochino’s Teen Theater program is an immersive eight-week, eight-consecutive Saturday session beginning in January and leading to performances in late February. Program registration is available at www.pantochino.com

A third original musical by Bernardi and Rugg will debut next spring. “And Away We Go” is an original story about a budding singing duo (think Steve and Eydie) who set out to impress Jackie Gleason at a Miami Beach nightclub in the 1960s. Mistaken identities, missing people, gangsters, showgirls and an Italian nona are all part of the wacky musical fun. “We’re so excited to tell this story, after last season’s sellout success of ‘Checking in on Charles’,” Johansmeyer said, “audiences can expect the same level of excitement, of mystery and pleasure.”

Pantochino Productions Inc is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization with studio and store space at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. In addition to its original musical productions, the company also organizes school programs, teen theater, summer theater camps, masterclasses and more. Pantochino recently received two “Best of Milford” awards, including Best Family Entertainment and Best Local Theater, as well as ten Broadway World Connecticut awards earlier this year.

Pantochino gratefully acknowledges its 2020-21 Sponsors: City of Milford, Devon Rotary, Milford Bank, Berchem Moses PC and additional support provided by the Connecticut Post Mall and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, CT Humanities and the Department of Connecticut from the Office of Economic and Community Development for the Arts. More information about the company and the upcoming season can be found at www.pantochino.com

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