To kick off the holiday season, Kokomo Civic Theatre will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. at Havens Auditorium, Indiana University Kokomo.
Beth Bradley’s church’s Christmas pageant is predictable every year -- the angel choir wears too much lipstick, the shepherds are all in their father’s bathrobes, the minister’s son is permanently cast in the role of Joseph. But when seasoned and authoritative pageant director Mrs. Armstrong breaks her leg, it is up to Beth’s inexperienced mother Grace to step in.
The timing couldn’t be worse, as the rambunctious Herdman children, a rough and tough group of siblings from the wrong side of the tracks, descend upon the pageant, lured by the promise of free dessert at Sunday school, and determined to win all the lead roles for themselves. The Ladies’ Aid Society members are beside themselves with disapproval, all the shepherds quit because Gladys Herdman “hits too hard,” and the show is briefly re-titled “Revenge at Bethlehem.” But Beth and her community watch in surprise as the same old Christmas story is rejuvenated by the creativity, energy, and unexpected sincerity of a misunderstood young family.
Parents Grace and Bob Bradley are being played by Lindsey Keyes and Jeremy Neumann. Their children, Grace and Charlie are being played by Kendralynn Williams and Owen Downing.
The Herdman kids are played by: Kaiden Petty as Ralph; Noelle Duncan as Imogene; Isaiah Keyes as Leroy; Michael Jarrell as Claude; Noah Keyes as Ollie; and Isla Duncan as Gladys.
Other children are Nathan Rudd as David Hopkins; Reece Wright as Hobie; Keeley Taylor as Alice Wendelken and Taliah Wright as Maxine.
Other adults are: Cheree Bachmann as Mrs. Armstrong; Toni Price as Mrs. McCarthy; Aubrey Drake as Mrs. Slocum; Melissa Taylor as Mrs. Clark; Mandy Rhoades as Mrs. Clausing; Steve Bachmann as Reverend Hopkins and Keegan Pollard as a fireman.
Angel choir members are: Mia D’acquisto; Alli Eytcheson; Destiny Forestal; Hanna Michael; Asia Newby; Maeli Petty; Cecelia Rudd; Dakota Rudd; Rowan Rudd; and Cooper Williams.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is being directed by Elizabeth McQuiston and Claire Cooper.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is made possible, in part, by the Howard County Commissioners, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for students (through college). Tickets may be reserved by calling 765-454-8800. Since KCT shows in Havens Auditorium feature reserved seating, KCT suggests ordering tickets in advance to get the best available seats. The Havens Auditorium box office will also be open 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, and one hour before each performance.