Best Christmas Pageant Ever (2006)

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Your presence will make this show ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

The Herdmans are absolutely the  worst kids in the history of  the world. They lie and steal  and smoke cigars (even the girls). They talk dirty, hit little kids, cuss their teachers,  set fire to an old broken-down  toolhouse, and take the name of  the Lord in vain. So no one is  prepared when the Herdmans invade church one Sunday – and decide to take over  the annual Christmas pageant.  None of them has ever heard the  Christmas story before. Their  interpretation – that the wise men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a  good beating – has a lot of  people up in arms.  But the actual pageant is full  of surprises for everyone,  starting with the Herdmans themselves.

It’s “The Best Christmas Pageant  Ever” and it’s back at the  Sugar Factory Playhouse  starting Saturday, November 25  and running through Monday,  December 11, 2006. It’s a family-friendly play about a congregation learning  a lesson in Christian  acceptance produced by the West  Jordan Theater Arts, under the  auspisces of the West Jordan Arts Council.

Connor Wade as  Ralph, Brianna Bedore as Imogene, Dallyn Zaugg as  Leroy, Nathan  Swallow as Claude, C.J.Stringham as Ollie – and last but certainly  NOT least is  Irelynd Brown as Gladys – collectively play the unforgettable  Herdman children.  Kelly Ann Shepherd  is Beth Bradley, the narrator of this amazing story.  Jessie Markus  plays Beth’s kid brother, Charlie.  Kristine Jorgensen plays Mrs.  Bradley, the brave  soul who wants to put on “the BEST Christmas pageant ever,” even though it’s  her first time directing a play. Chris Swallow is Mr. Bradley, who  reluctantly agrees  to attend the pageant since his wife is directing it. Melanie  Turner is the  displaced pageant director, Mrs. Armstrong. Taylor Tripp plays Alice,  the “perfect”  little girl who gets the lead in every pageant – until this  year. The show is directed by Petronella  Oliver.  “We cast a few  alumni from other years, but we tried to cast as many new  faces as possible  this year to give more children a new opportunity,” Oliver said.  “We just feel we  have a wonderful cast.”

“Most shows sell  out,” Oliver warned, “so plan on getting your tickets any time  after Nov. 10 at  the West Jordan Maceys.”

Tickets are $4 each, with group  discounts  available. Tickets  will also be available at the door at 7 p.m. nightly. “Last year we had  many church, youth  and ladies’ groups get tickets for their Christmas parties and activities,”  Oliver said. “We  open Thanksgiving weekend so that families will have  a fun family  activity to do when they have holiday guests in  town.” Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Mondays,  Thursdays, Fridays  and Saturdays from  November 25 through December 11, and matinees  at noon on  November 25 and December 9. The entrance is on the west side of the  Sugar Factory  Playhouse, 8201 South 2200 West.