Saturday, November 25 – 2:00pm
Saturday, December 2 – 2:00 & 7:00pm
Sunday, December 3 – 2:00pm
November 27-December 1, December 4 at 10:00 & 12:00pm
Recommended for all ages
Recommended for grades 1+
Performed at The Lexington Opera House
By Barbara Robinson.
The Bradley family’s church Christmas Pageant is always the same, year after year – until the Herdmans show up! With “the worst kids in the world” taking the lead roles, this year’s Pageant will be a total disaster. But it might just be the year when the rambunctious, rag-tag Herdmans help their community see Christmas in a whole new way, and prove that even the worst kids in the world can change it for the better.
Curricular ties: Social Inclusion, Theology, Values, Holiday and Religious Celebrations
You’ll like this play if you like stories about: comedy, holidays, friends and family, not judging a book by its cover
Approximately 1 hour long
Tis the season – or so they say! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever truly rings in the season for audiences of all ages. It’s the age old “Christmas Pageant” that so many of us see and participate in every year, but the play is from a production point of view with engaging characters and an underlying story of grace in this season when we so often get wrapped up in ourselves. My 10, 9 and 7 year old’s all very much enjoyed the production, sitting still for a full hour, which is a feat in itself!
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever boasted a full and talented cast including Madilyn Halwes as Beth Bradley – our narrator and primary lead. Also notable in the “No Small Parts” cast are Jenny Hays as Grace Bradely, Ethan Norris as Charlie Bradley and Sophie Ferrin as Imogene Herdman. The stage and costuming were well put together and clearly marked locations and separations for place and time.
Beth Bradley sets the stage painting a picture of local bullies and the blessed relief of Sunday School where the best part is that there are “No Herdmans!” Back at home it is discovered that an unfortunate accident has befallen the local do everything volunteer so Beth’s mom, Grace Bradley, ends up consenting to orchestrate the annual Christmas Pageant, which she is determined will be the best one ever!
While being bullied at school Beth’s brother, Charlie Bradley, unwittingly suggests that Sunday School is a land of flowing treats and the two worlds end up colliding making for an engaging and touching story of grace for not only the Herdmans but those around them. The play is a story of change for the hard at heart in action and in perception teaching us that our biases can be as harmful as fists. This is of course the Children’s Theater, so these concepts are part of a funny and enchanting story but were underscored nonetheless.
In addition to these potentially heart changing takeaways the theatre included a Quality Times insert with the Playbill that lists great thinking and talking points to keep the conversation going long after the play finishes. My children especially enjoyed coming up with our family holiday traditions, a conversation that brought joy to our evening.
Speaking of the play finishing – after the performance the cast was scattered around the theatre for a meet and greet which my children found immensely engaging (they even found one of their own Sunday School friend’s, Natalie Helm who played Georgina McCarthy, among the cast). Local children’s theatre is a celebrity event from their perspective – they were thrilled with the experience!
-Lea, Lex Fun 4 Kids contributing writer
· Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. The will call line was very full when we got there 25 minutes before the show, I’d recommend arriving before door opening even to allow plenty of time to use the restrooms and find your seats. On the positive side you reserve your seats when you book so you won’t have trouble finding seats together.
· The 2pm show started at 2:02 so plan to be in your seats on time!
· There is an elevator to the second floor if you need one.
· The show lasts about an hour.
· Merchandise is available in the lobby as you enter. It’s a small booth but it’s centered past the ticket takers. The prices are reasonable if you feel like treating your little ones to a memento.
About the Show
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the chaos that ensues when the “worst kids in the world,” the Herdmans, land the lead roles in the annual Christmas Pageant. But the rag-tag Herdmans might just help their community see Christmas in a whole new way, and prove that even the worst kids in the world can change it for the better. “The script is incredibly funny, but heartfelt, and I think it’s one of the best stories about the meaning of Christmas ever written,” says Cameron Taylor, long-time LCT participant and a cast member in the production.
Twins Cameron and Cody Taylor are playing Ralph Herdman, the eldest Herdman sibling and Bob Bradley, father of the Bradley family, respectively. Cameron and Cody have taken LCT classes and participated in shows since they were young children. This year’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the Taylors’ third time in the play and their tenth overall production with LCT! They return to The Lexington Opera House stage as college graduates and professional actors. “LCT was the first place that introduced me to a world and a profession that I didn’t know was possible. To return years later and revive the first professional show I ever did with the same company in the exact same performance venue is beyond mind blowing,” says Cody.
Cameron says, “I jumped at the chance to do another show with LCT!” He was especially excited to learn that Jeremy Kisling, Associate Artistic Director in charge of Education, would be directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Kisling is uniquely qualified to work on this production as he has not only directed the show previously, he has also acted in and been a prop master for the show in the past. Kisling says, “I was at a public event recently and someone mentioned being in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever back in 2001. I think this is one of those shows that we produce here at LCT that creates bonds between the many, many performers and crew members who have been a part of these productions over the years.”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a humorous, family show that also contains an important message to spread kindness, not judgment. Kisling’s hope is that the show’s theme will “spark a commitment to generosity towards those less fortunate than us. May we remember that the holidays are a time for laughing, singing, and sharing our good fortune with everyone every day.”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is coming to The Lexington Opera House stage on Saturdays, November 25th and December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd. Join LCT and On the Move Studio for a community card making workshop on December 2nd at 5:30pm.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is sponsored by Hamburg Pavilion and The Richardson Salsman Group at Morgan Stanley.