TPAC and Lythgoe Family give kids Panto present 'Aladdin and His Winter Wish'

Holiday Panto for the entire family returns for a second season December 12-22 at TPAC.

Starring 'The Thundermans' Kira Kosarin and Emmy Award-winning writer and comedic actor Bruce Vilanch with direction by Nashville Children's Theater Executive Artistic Director Ernie Nolan.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After the success of last year’s holiday spectacular Peter Pan and Tinkerbell – A Pirate’s Christmas, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Lythgoe Family Give Kids Panto will reunite this holiday season to present Aladdin and His Winter Wish Dec.12-22 in TPAC’s Polk Theater.

Tickets for Aladdin and His Winter Wish will go on sale later on this fall. Sign up for StageLinks at or follow TPAC on social media for the latest updates.

For group discounts of 10 or more, including special discounts for Girl Scout groups, call 615-782-4060.

Aladdin and His Winter Wish is called “magic for the holidays, a fun family ride!,” raves the Los Angeles Times. The age-old fairytale of Aladdin is given a modern twist with pop music, from “Treasure" by Bruno Mars to Ray Charles’s “You Don’t Know Me,” magic and comedy. Helped by the magical Genie, Aladdin meets and falls in love with the Princess and later saves her from the clutches of the evil magician Abanazar. With his hopeless brother Wishee Washee alongside him, will Aladdin defeat the evil magician and make all of his dreams come true? From the producers of last year’s hit family musical, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Aladdin and His Winter Wish is the perfect family show all ages will wish to see this holiday season!

The star-led production blends fairytales, comedy, the holidays, dancing, contemporary songs, and local and regional references to create an unforgettable theater experience.

“We are so excited to be returning to Nashville and partnering with TPAC in bringing families and young audiences to the theatre,” says Kris Lythgoe, CEO of Lythgoe Family Panto. “Aladdin and His Winter Wish is a magical, interactive show that audiences will enjoy as they sing along and dance in the aisles. It’s fun for the holidays, creating memories for the entire family. Come see it and start a new family tradition.”

Recording Artist Kira Kosarin who starred as Phoebe in Nickelodeon’s “The Thundermans” will take on the role of the Princess, while Bruce Vilanch, Emmy Award-winning TV comedy writer (The Academy Awards) and actor (“Hairspray,” “Hollywood Squares”) will take on the role of Widow Twanky.

Ernie Nolan, the executive artistic director at the Nashville Children’s Theater, will direct the production.

“I’m thrilled to be asked to direct Aladdin for Lythgoe Family Panto,” says Ernie Nolan, Executive Artistic Director of Nashville Children’s Theater. “For years, I’ve admired the way they’ve created high-quality family entertainment and introduced the arts to countless young people across the country. I’m excited not only to be creating a little holiday magic for families at TPAC but also for families to have a chance to come together and share something.”

Click Here for Headshots of Cast and Creative Team

Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairytales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well-known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together.

GiveKidsPanto is a California based non-profit company that pays for school children to experience live theatre for the very first time. Buses are paid for and tickets are subsidized, as we introduce young kids to the Arts. In 2017, over 6,000 Title I students were introduced by the Lythgoes to live theatre, through the medium of Panto. For more information, visit


Cast and Creative Team Biographies:

Ernie Nolan (Director) Executive Artistic Director of Nashville Children’s Theatre, Ernie is an award-winning director and playwright. His NCT credits include directing the world premiere TYA adaptation of Tysen and Miller’s “Tuck Everlasting,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” (First Night Award for Best Director of a Musical), “The Hundred Dresses,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “Mockingbird,” “Dragons Love Tacos,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Next season he is set to direct the world premiere musical “Auntie Claus” by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich. His work at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago, IL includes “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Fancy Nancy The Musical,” “Pinkalicious,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Cinderella,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and the world premiere of “Hansel and Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat,” written in collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated recording artist Justin Roberts. Also a resident artist of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, he has directed and choreographed world premieres by such Tony-nominated artists as Willy and Rob Reale, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens, and Bill Russell and Henry Krieger. In March 2012, Ernie made his Off-Broadway debut with “Lucky Duck” at the New Victory Theatre in NYC. Ernie currently sits on the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ, a global theatre for the young audiences service organization. In 2014, he received the Illinois Theatre Association’s Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences award. He is a proud graduate of both the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program (BFA Musical Theatre) and The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA Directing).

Bruce Vilanch (Widow Twanky) is a two-faced fella: Bearded, he is one of the most sought-after comedy writers in Hollywood, winner of a bunch of Emmys and noted as the “Hollywood Square” just to the left of Whoopi. Shaved, he spent two years as Edna Turnblad, Baltimore housewife, and superstar, on tour and on Broadway in the smash musical adaptation of the John Waters film “Hairspray.” A frequent guest on talk shows, Bruce has written for the Oscars for over 25 years and won his Emmys for co-writing Oscar shows with Billy Crystal. He was also nominated for an Emmy as a lyricist on Eartha Kitt’s gold-selling album “Where Is My Man.” Additional acting credits: TV: VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” Film: “Ice Pirates,” “Mahogany,” “The Morning After.” Additional writing credits: Tonys, Grammys, Emmys. His bizarre career was documented in the film “Get Bruce!,” released by Miramax and perpetually available on Buena Vista Home Video. Bruce’s one-man show, “Almost Famous,” tickled Off-Broadway audiences for three months and has made a number of appearances around the country. He is frequently mistaken for Brad Pitt.

Kira Kosarin (Princess) The 21-year-old was first introduced to the world as Phoebe Thunderman on Nickelodeon’s hit TV series “The Thundermans,” where she spent four seasons harnessing her acting abilities while refining her skills as a musician and songwriter in her spare time. Kosarin rocketed to cultural ubiquity during her time both on the network and off, earning three consecutive nominations at the Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite TV Actress. On social media, she accrued almost four million followers on Instagram, 10 million on and 250,000 on Twitter. Her debut album, “Off Brand,” debuted in 2019.


If You Go:

Aladdin and His Winter Wish
Dec.12 – 22
TPAC’s Polk Theater
505 Deaderick St.


Performance schedule, prices, and cast are subject to change without notice. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America and Coca-Cola. TPAC is a nonprofit arts organization funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is

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Since 1980, the nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than 12 million audience members and served more than 1.8 million children and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs. Each year, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members with the HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of three resident companies – Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre. TPAC’s mission is to lead with excellence in the performing arts and arts education, creating meaningful and relevant experiences to enrich lives, strengthen communities, and support economic vitality. For more information, visit

Contact: Lisa Kennedy