Magic Circle Theater Presents Children’s’ Christmas Play Starting Dec. 3
by Beverly Corbell
Nov 19, 2010 | 1999 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<B>WORST KIDS</B> — Don’t miss the Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the world” and see how they add chaos and humor to the Magic Circle Theater children’s’ performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. From left in back: Trevor Granger, Jamie Ila, Brandon Stanfield and Mary Beth Grasha, with Paige McCracken in front. (Photo by Beverly Corbell)
WORST KIDS — Don’t miss the Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the world” and see how they add chaos and humor to the Magic Circle Theater children’s’ performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. From left in back: Trevor Granger, Jamie Ila, Brandon Stanfield and Mary Beth Grasha, with Paige McCracken in front. (Photo by Beverly Corbell)
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MONTROSE – The large children’s cast of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever assembled in the lobby of the Magic Circle Theater to have their pictures taken in groups this week. First up were young actors portraying the Herdman kids, who, in the play by Barbara Robinson, based on her book of the same name, are “the worst kids in the world.”

The Herdman kids had never been to church before, but decided to attend when they found out there was free food. These are not nice kids. They smoke cigars, burn down buildings, beat up little kids, and the churchgoers are terrorized when the Herdmans are cast in the annual Christmas pageant.

Directed by Allyson Shaw Crosby, the local production includes cast features more than two dozen youngsters and a handful of adults. Pat Myers plays Mrs. Armstrong, the head of the pageant committee until she broke her leg, and plays the role dressed in hospital garb.

Lisa Sink plays Irma Slocum, Margie Ferguson plays Edna McCarthy and Rosella Clark plays pianist Vera Clark. Nici Liberato-Hall plays the director, Grace Bradley.

Robinson wrote the book in 1972, which tells the story of six delinquent children who go to church for the first time after being told the church offers snacks. Pandemonium ensues as they take part in the Christmas play.

The book was adapted into a play by Robinson in 1982 and was first performed by the Seattle Children’s Theater. In 1983 it was adapted into a television movie in ABC starring Loretta Swit.

According to the website littletheater.com, the play has a happy ending.

“None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale – the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating – has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant…just possibly the best one ever.”

The Wilmington (Del.) Drama League, which also put on the play, said it “is the perfect family activity for the holiday season.”

Tickets for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are $3 at the door. Show dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. For more information about Magic Circle Theater, call 249-7838.

Director Crosby says it’s a fun play for all ages.

“This lively and realistic portrayal of what happens in a small mid-western church when the Herdman family invades their ‘nice, normal’ Christmas pageant will leave you in stitches!” she said. “You will walk away with a warm heart for each of the misfits and their detractors as they are all changed by the Christmas story in various ways.”
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