The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Breakthrough Theater of Winter Park
By Barbara Robinson
Directed by Wade Hair
by Carl F, Gauze
You want drama? Forget about Willie Loman and try to put up a church Christmas pageant. Of course, you’ll get tons of useless advice from a dozen people that want you to fail. After all, no has done it “right” since Pastor Soandso passed away five years ago. Tonight, the pageant production falls to Beth Bradley (Brianna Wunder) when the last producer broke her leg. The job comes complete with meddling parents, the risk of live animals on stage, pounding lines into little kids, and worst of all, the previous year’s director Mrs. Armstrong (Veronica McDowell). Ms. Armstrong is only injured, not actually dead enough to leave Beth alone. But when the rambunctious Herdsman clan discover the church has free snacks, they highjack the production and threaten to destroy Christmas with their hoodlum ways.
There’s 26 people up on that stage tonight, most too young to drive a car. Just the sheer task of moving them from place on stage is daunting, never mind lines. The show is intentionally cute and begs for the casting of small children to get the charm to work. And it does. You secretly cheer when the Herdsmans read the Christmas story and take bows. Nothing breaks, falls over, and no one cries, not even the director. This is the goofy, silly, easy on the holiday guilt show that if nothing else should convince you to NEVER volunteer to produce a church pageant.