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Pantochino Productions: Ridiculously Entertaining

What do Frank Sinatra and Pantochino have in common? The color orange.

Frank Sinatra’s home in Palm Springs featured his favorite color, and Connecticut’s newest theater touring company, Pantochino, has embraced the color as well.

This dynamic duo of Bert Bernardi and Jimmy Johansmeyerare most clever in their approach to the world getting to know them. The color, the name of their company Pantochino Productions (I’ll get to the meaning of that in a moment), and the fact that they have made it all the craze to wear their little orange buttons with their name centered across the top will set them apart.

Pantochino comes with original plays with fabulous titles like “Little Red Running Shoes,” (A New (Jersey) Musical and… just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theatre…an overboard comedy of Hitchcockian proportions a play called “Lifeboat Dahling!”

Bernardi is an actor, director, and author of two hundred original musicals for young audiences.  Johansmeyer is an actor, and costume designer.

What does “Pantochino” mean? “Panto” comes from the British “pantos” which is pantomimes, “chino” is short of cappuccino which is the name of the mischievous monkey that goes on the road with the shows. While Cappuccino is a stuffed monkey, the adult take on that is the “cocktail” monkey as the plays can be adapted for an adult audience. Something for everyone. I of course told the guys they need to come up with a fun cocktail on which to hang the monkey cocktail markers. Maybe you all can come up with a fun concoction for them. It will of course have to be orange.

Two other great guys hanging with Bert and Jimmy are playwright, Joe Landry and Colin Eastland. Joe designed the really kitschy web site, which is just tremendous and Colin is an idea guy. With this kind of backing, along with Bert and Jimmy’s enormous following from their days with the Downtown Cabaret Theatre Children’s Company in Bridgeport they’re all set.

Next summer the company will be debuting its first theatre camp for kids. Their shows are designed for kindergarten thru 6th grade audiences and they can perform anywhere. That’s the idea, anywhere.

As a lover of the arts, it was a real joy spending time with such creatives. I’m not alone in that, just look who is wearing those orange buttons.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Ann Nyberg

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