Pageant takes humorous, poignant look at Christmas story | NevadaAppeal.com
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Pageant takes humorous, poignant look at Christmas story

Karel Ancona-Henry
For the Nevada Appeal
CourtesyImogene Herdman, played by Stephanie Gansberg, and Ralph Herdman, played by Taylor Barth, point fingers at the "church kids" in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," which opens Friday at the Brewery Arts Center. The story is about a family of rowdy children who learn about the Christmas story for the first time and churched children who learn the real meaning of Christmas.
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BACPAC Kids and Back to Broadway Kids have joined forces to present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” in four performances this weekend.

Based on the novela by Barbara Robinson, published in 1972, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” has been called one of America’s favorite Christmas stories and is now a classic stage play,

“This is the first time we’ve done this show and it’s a fun version of the Bible story,” said Lynette Brown, who is directing the performance and also teaches English at Carson City High School.

“The Best Christmans Pageant Ever,” is set in modern times with the “typical” church kids being bullied daily by a family of six children of absent parents who have raised themselves.

“They’re being terrorized by these kids who steal lunches to get the dessert,” Brown said. “The church kids finally tell the Herdman kids that at church there is dessert and the Herdman’s think church sounds like a fun place to be, they try out for the Christmas pageant and get all the lead parts, even though the church kids think the Herdman’s will never get (the point of) the story.”

From there the antics begin. Ultimately, the church kids see a more authentic view of the Bible story and that there actually is something that can hold meaning for the Herdman children.

Brown has performed in other Brewery Arts productions and has enjoyed her first time directing.

“This was my minor in college and while I work with high schoolers, this has been a blast, working with younger kids,” she said. “They range in age from about 8 to 15 and are an eager, good group and we have had so much fun with this.

“I think for many of us who grew up going to church and hearing the Christmas story, it’s very easy to not really hear the story, to be oblivious to the level of hardship that really was a part of the story,” Brown said. “Mary may have been just 13 years old, Jesus was born in a barn … imagine the smell of that, and they went how far on a donkey?

“The play breaks that down and brings the story to life in a way that is sometimes missed,” she said. “This is a fun one and it teaches a good lesson.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 in the Maizie Harris Jesse Theatre at Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St. Tickets cost $16.50 for general admission and $13.50 for students, seniors and BAC members, available at breweryarts.org or call 775- 883-1976.