Yes, that’s right. Everyone’s favorite ludicrous 90s rapper Vanilla Ice (née Robert Van Winkle) will make his British stage debut this December, playing Captain Hook in a “panto” production of Peter Pan at the Central Theatre in Chatham, UK. The theatre’s general manager Tony Hill told the BBC, “Ice is a huge name who I am sure will be a real draw for parents and children alike.” To us, this begs the question – do today’s children know who Vanilla Ice is? Also, really?
Panto, if you didn’t know (we didn’t), is short for pantomime, a form of comedic musical theatre, a yuletide tradition in the UK and Australia, among other countries. Apparently, this form of theatre is particularly popular in the UK, where the family shows are a mixture of ”song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, topical references, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo.” Well, we know Vanilla Ice is tops at buffoonery and audience participation (at least we know we participate whenever “Ice Ice Baby” happens to a party), but can he pull off song and dance? Small children everywhere will soon find out.