The smoking, stealing, lying and bullying Herdman children are making their way on stage in Spokane, in Richland, Wash., and even in Lewiston and Pullman.The Herdmans are part of the popular play, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” which opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday at both the Lewiston Civic Theatre and the Pullman Civic Theatre.
“It’s popular because it’s a little bit different,” said Jeri Harris, PCT director. “It has a really wonderful message without being too sappy. It’s on the short side, so it’s a really good family show.”
Jacquie Haight, LCT co-director, said “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is about a novice mother trying to direct an annual Christmas pageant for the first time.
“And anything that will go wrong, goes wrong,” Haight said.
The Herdman hooligans bully their way into taking lead roles in the pageant, and twist the Christmas story to follow their own interpretation.
All the wrongdoings and mishaps are narrated by Beth, the pageant director’s daughter.
“She’s the connection between the scenes,” Haight said. “It’s a play within a play within a play.”
PCT’s cast ranges from a 5-month-old to a nearly 70-year-old, with about 30 members in total.
“The biggest challenge is when you’re doing this, you’re going to have other commitments this time of year,” Harris said. “A lot of people have been getting sick.”
LCT has a cast with about 34 children, which isn’t a stressor for Haight, who directs the LCT children’s summer workshops. But the company has had several shows going on at the same time.
“Rehearsal space is always at a premium, but we think we have that down now,” Haight said. “That’s one of the things about theater: you take the conflicts, and you take the challenges and you work with them.”
With every theater production, and just like the “best,” or craziest, Christmas Pageant ever …
“They go crazy,” Haight said, “but it all turns out in the end.”
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: Pullman Civic Theatre’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Dec. 12-14; 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 15
WHERE: Pullman Civic Theatre, 1220 NW Nye St., Pullman
TICKETS: Show tickets can be purchased online or at Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, Wild Ivy and Dissmore’s for $12 ($10 for matinees). Tickets may also be purchased by calling the PCT box office at (509) 332-8406. Tickets are $15 at the door ($12 for matinees).
->if you go:
WHAT: Lewiston Civic Theatre’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 12-14 and Dec. 19-21; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.
WHERE: Lewiston Civic Theatre, 805 Sixth Ave., Lewiston
TICKETS: $14 regular price, $12 seniors 60-and-older, $11 students with ID, $8 children ages 12-and-younger. Tickets can be purchased by calling (208) 746-3401 or at www.lctheatre.org.