Review: ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever' evokes holiday spirit

In this hysterical Christmas classic, the true depth of community and Christmas spirit are called into question. Originally a book, Barbara Robinson adapted “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” into a family-friendly play for all ages. With the absence of the annual Christmas pageant director, Grace Bradley is thrust into not only directing, but dealing with some difficult rug rats as well. Meanwhile the delinquent Herdman family wreaks havoc across the entire face of this close-knit community.

The cast, led by Destiny Purdue portraying Beth Bradley, worked together to bring this Christmas pageant to life. Displaying talent beyond her years was Nicole Ziege as Grace Bradley. The consistency of her character was spot on, especially her interactions with Bob Bradley, husband and loving father to her children. Ziege kept her cast on pace, allowing time for the outrageous laughter from the audience.

Alongside Ziege was her male counterpart, Sean Gardner as Bob Bradley. Gardner had the audience in a constant state of hysteria. No matter what his line, Gardner added himself into this character, adding to the overall production. Gardner was the overall comic relief in this already comical production.

Both Bradley children, Beth and Charlie, kept the production young and innocent. They brought with them a more childlike view on the adult lifestyle. Glimpses of true Christmas spirit shinned while either of these characters made an entrance.

The entirely student-run lighting team faced minor struggles learning spot cues, mainly in the first act. The team recovered very quickly the present a nearly perfect second act.  The students designed all of their lighting on their own, a true challenge for any high-school-aged theater crew.

Altogether, Simon Kenton High School brought to life this surprise-filled Christmas pageant.

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