Tap-dancing cow in pantomime

SPECC-tacular group puts on Jack and Beanstock in Maple Ridge.

(From left) Poison Ivy is played by Lisa Anderson

(From left) Poison Ivy is played by Lisa Anderson

If a tap-dancing cow is on your list of things to see in 2016, this might well be your final chance.

SPECC-tacular Productions Theatre Group will perform the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. It will feature a dancing cow and a chicken that lays a golden egg.

The story is set around Jack and his mother, Dame Twinkie, poor villagers who have to sell their beloved cow Mirabel to make some money.

But on the way to the market, Jack meets a man who offers him magic beans for the cow. When Jack returns home with no money and only the beans to show, his mother becomes angry and throws the beans out the window.

Overnight, the beans grow into a giant beanstalk reaching into the clouds.

At the top lives Giant Blunderbore and his evil mother, Poison Ivy, who gets her henchmen to abduct the villagers and bring them up the beanstalk as slaves.

Jack, with the help of Fairy Nuff, must save everyone, including his beloved Jill and his mother.

Directed by Michael Stusiak, Jack and the Beanstalk is meant to be fun for the whole family.

SPECC-tacular Productions first put on the pantomime 10 years ago and thought it would be good to revisit.

“To choose a pantomime each year is quite challenging, to get one you think the [audience] will be interested in,” said Pauline De Silva, with SPECC-tacular.

Jack in the Beanstalk will have plenty of music – 18 songs and eight dance numbers.

Some songs: Holding Out for a Hero, by Bonnie Tyler; Dancing in the Street, from Jersey Boys; and Oh What a Night, by The Four Seasons.

“That’s what a panto does. It usually puts modern music to an older fairy tale. There’s always a good versus evil, and the good always wins,” De Silva said about traditional British pantomimes.

There is also a Dame, who is a man dressed as a woman, usually the mother of the hero, who is garish and over-the-top.

In this production, there will be a lot of oversized set pieces, including a giant table and chair.

“And our giant is giant. He’s enormous. It’s just a fun show,” said De Silva.

There is also audience participation.

“We ask the audience lots of questions.”

Can you find Jack? What do you think? Where’s the chainsaw?

“The children, some of them go really crazy,” she continued.

SPECC-tacular Productions is known for their annual Christmas pantomimes. So much so that when the theatre group put on A Christmas Carol one year, members were amazed at how many people told them they enjoyed their pantomimes.

“So, we kind of felt that this is a good thing for us to do,” said De Silva.


• Jack, played by Teagan Krauchi;

• Jill, played by Victoria Dufficy;

• Dame Twinkie, played by Steven Bradley;

• Fairy Nuff, played by Lynsey Teasdale;

• Giant Blunderbore, played by Geoff Teasdale;

• The witch Poison Ivy, played by Lisa Anderson;

• The witch’s henchmen are played by Jaimie Umpleby and Derek Barnett.


Jack and the Beanstalk takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 and 16 and at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the ACT, 11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge.

Tickets are $25 for adults and seniors. Children up to 12 are $20. A four pack of tickets is $80. For more information, call 604-476-2787 or go to www.theactmapleridge.org.