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Meet Panto Star, Ben Giroux!

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1. What brings you to continue to perform in Lythgoe Family Pantos?

I love improvising with an audience.  Panto is a perfect blend of traditional theatre with the right amount of improv to satiate my inner stand-up comedian.  This is my third panto with the Lythgoes and The Pasadena Playhouse — it’s always a blast working with people I know and love.  Finally, the Pasadena Playhouse is rich in history and an incredible theatre to work in.  Fun fact: my great aunt was Caroline Jones (Morticia on the Addams Family) — she was discovered at The Pasadena Playhouse.  That makes my life and entertainment career feel very full circle.

2. How was it working with Chevy Chase in the movie, A Christmas in Vermont?

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many comedy legends. Improvising with Chevy Chase on set was a blast. Fun fact: even though our movie has already been released, Chevy is still memorizing his lines.

3. What have you learned from working with directors like Christopher Guest, David O’Russell, J.K. Simmons and The Farrelly Brothers?

I credit the beginning of my entertainment journey to the Farrelly Brothers. A decade ago they cast me in their FOX pilot and launched my career.  Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many powerhouse comedy directors.  Collaborating with Christopher Guest on his HBO show “Family Tree” was definitely a highlight.  It was the most improvisational freedom a director has ever given me on set.  Working with directors at the top of their game has taught me to be myself, take risks, and make wild creative choices.

4. We saw you’ve guest starred on shows like “NCIS,” “Bones,” “Psych,” and “House.” Which role was the most challenging?

I’ve been lucky to have an extremely varied and diverse television career.  While my primetime credits have been a blast, I think I’ve most enjoyed my work on Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger.”  I play the main villain, The Toddler (an evil Man Baby), on the kids superhero show.  Playing such an over-the-top character takes an immense amount of energy and stamina, particularly with a high-pitched character voice.  But it’s incredibly fun.  The entire cast & crew is the greatest group of people I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my career.

5. Which of your original short films or music videos was the most fun to create?

A few years ago I partnered up with indie hip-hop artist Jensen Reed to create a comedic thug rap video about being a short guy.  Dubbed “Little Dude Anthem”, our music video was a viral sensation on Facebook and the craziest thing I’ve ever made.  When you get to rap in a hip-hop video while dressed as a Christmas Elf, it’s a good day at work.  The project even featured a few Lythgoe Panto alums: Tamyra Gray and Morgan Larson.  Jensen and I are currently working on a new music video, “Back to the 90s”, which will debut in 2017.  You can see Little Dude Anthem here: http://youtube.com/BenGirouxTV

6. Why should people come to see A Cinderella Christmas?

This show is FUN!  The songs are incredible (seriously, Alex Newell and Lauren Taylor are jaw-droppingly talented), the comedy is cheesy slapstick absurdity, and as always, the improv is ripe — you never know what will happen in a given show.  Plus, I hear those Ugly Stepsisters are, well… ugly.  Panto at the Playhouse has become a wonderful holiday tradition.  I’m thrilled to be back — this is the best show yet!

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