Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

"The Herdmans were the worst kids in the whole history of the world." That's the first line of this play, spoken by the main character, Beth. Alice and Maxine (Chicklet) chime in with anecdotes.

"And they wrote this really dirty word on the back of Naomi Waddell's favorite turtle, so now Naomi can't take it to the YMCA pet show. Her mother won't let her. ...And that's not all. They did it with fluorescent paint, so it glows in the dark. When you can't even see the turtle, you can still see the word."

The other blondie with Chicklet is her best friend, but they fooled everybody into thinking they were sisters!
Maxine in Sunday School, prior to casting the Christmas Pageant. "There are no small parts, just small actors," the class parrots, but they admit they don't know what it means.

"I know what it means!" Maxine declares. "It means the short kids have to be in the front row of the angel choir, or else nobody can see them!"

Then the Herdmans show up and volunteer for everything. Here Claude (B8), Ollie and Leroy volunteer to be Wise Men. "What's a Wise Man?" Claude asks.

Me as Mrs. McCarthy, helping spread the gossip. "Did you hear about the Christmas Pageant? ...How else could the six of them end up in a Christmas Pageant, when they ought to be in jail!"

The Herdmans toss around the Baby Jesus as they debrief about their morning in Sunday School.

Imogene says, "Well, [if I were Mary] I wouldn't hang around out in the barn. I'd go get a room." Claude retorts, "She said there wasn't any room!" "Then I'd throw somebody out!"

Mrs. McCarthy interrupts the dress rehearsal to let Mom know the ladies are making applesauce cake in back. Mom takes the opportunity to ask if she could borrow my niece for the Baby Jesus and I react in horror. "Grace...NO! I could make up some lie and tell you the baby's sick or cranky or something, but the truth is, she's perfectly healthy and happy and beautiful, and we all want her to stay that way. So we're certainly not going to hand her over to Imogene Herdman!"

Then I discover smoke in the ladies' room and call the fire department. It's just cigar smoke--Imogene Herdman was smoking cigars in the Mary costume in the ladies' room--but the applesauce cake burns up. (That's B8 on the back of our friend the fireman, the father of Chicklet's blonde friend.)

The actual pageant, with Maxine as the Pageant Narrator. 
(Memorizing her lines doubled as Scripture memory! ;)

A total stranger asked me afterwards, "Was the Narrator your daughter?" I asked how she could tell, and she said, "She looks just like you!" Best compliment ever.

Of course the Wise Men would have had binoculars, right? And that's a ham Leroy is holding in his other hand. B8 follows with his imaginary prop, a gold box. (Good thing it was a dress rehearsal!)

(click to enlarge)
A lovely tableaux. Gold, frankincense, and ham.

(In the script Beth says the ham was such a sensible present, and I never even questioned it. But my husband, raised in the New York City area where he was a minority because he wasn't black or Jewish, pointed out that a ham was not something that a good Jewish couple would even touch. Oops.)

"The Women" debrief after the pageant. "The best one we ever had...and I'm not sure why...."

Cast photo!

The "twins" mug for the camera.

B8 rockin' the Wise Man costume.

It was the best Christmas pageant ever!!!

1 comment:

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

This is my favorite Christmastime kids story, ever since I was a kid. It looks like you all had a wonderful time with it! :)

Also, B8 is looking so grown up! I didn't even recognize him. Of course, my little 8-going-on-9-going-on-15 year old is getting all grown up, too, I just get to see her more often! :)