The Shark's Behind You!
You may detect a certain Christmas theme in the blog this week. Team America couldn't help noticing this story on the cover of the NY Times online: 'Topsy-Turvy Christmas Foolery', Sarah Lyall's charming report on no less a personage than the Fonz appearing in Puss in Boots in Liverpool. A panto appearance whose only equivalent might be 'say, Leonard Nimoyâ€™s appearing in a production of â€śYouâ€™re a Good Man, Charlie Brownâ€ť in Buffalo.'
The British custom of pantomimes needs some translation for U.S. audiences: 'Pantomimes reflect a strange paradox of the British national character: that people can be at once so uptight and so gleefully, childishly uninhibited. Amid all the mayhem, â€śPeter Panâ€ť is full of topical references to things like the recession and the television talent show â€śThe X Factor.â€ť' This may also explain something about the current Christmas No. 1.
This said, I think we can find evidence of stateside, pantomime (and there's probably a research paper if not): Fortyeighters, at least, enjoyed a bit of dame action: see for example, Kurutz, Gary F. "POPULAR CULTURE ON THE GOLDEN SHORE." California History 79.2 (2000): 280-315. America: History & Life. EBSCO. Web. 22 Dec. 2009