Friday, December 13, 2013

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Growing up, most people vividly remember a family from their neighborhood that they probably avoided. This family usually was poorer and had developed survival skills that were not always socially acceptable. There usually was at least one bully in that family, and sometimes every member of that family was a bully.
Charlie knew this family well. In fact, Charlie knew them so well that he loved going to church. He loved going to church because that was the one safe place. None of the Herdman children had ever stepped a foot into a church. Then Charlie's choice of words changed all that.
He happened to mention all the good things about church. He mentioned the cakes, donuts, and all those wonderful sweet joys of church that were too appealing for them to resist.

Unfortunately, the week the Herdman children decided to visit the church was also the week that parts were being assigned in the annual Christmas pageant. For years, the same people had owned their roles but things were about to change. The fearless leader of this pageant had fallen and was unable to lead this year. Who would lead it this year?

That is "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" which is being performed as a readers' theater this weekend at the Chanticleer Theater located at 830 Franklin Ave. in Council Bluffs.
Charlie, portrayed by Nolan King, is a delightful character with his constant worry about the Herdman children and his concern about is being a shepherd, again. As his sister, Beth, Rachael Schnitker demonstrated a mature stage presence in leading this production. Other children participating are Wyatt Sargent, Emma Chvala, David Wright, Chase Sargent, Natalie Simons, Emily Umphreys, and Jacob Umphreys.
Unquestionably, Denise Putnam stole the show as the Mother who is burdened with being in charge of the church's Christmas pageant and dealing with the Herdman children who had no previous knowledge of the Christmas story, the boredom of the previous participants, and a threat to burning down the church.
With the Christmas songs, Terry DeBenedictis sang a beautiful descant in one while Jerry Gray added wonderful harmony.
The show lasts about an hour and continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Ticket costs are $ 25 for adults and $ 10 for students with a donation to the food bank. For reservations contact the theater at or call the box office at (712) 323-9955.
For those who enjoy a lively and short show, this is the perfect event this weekend for the entire family.

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