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Beloved holiday story celebrates 23rd year at Lakewood Theatre Company. Don't miss it this holiday season!

COURTESY PHOTO  - Hazel Bateman as Gladys Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opening at Lakewood Theatre Company Dec. 13.

For The Review, Tidings

Back by popular demand is the Lakewood Theatre Company holiday production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a delightful story about the true meaning of Christmas.

The play opens at Lakewood Center for the Arts Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue on Dec. 14, 15, and 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, Saturday, Dec. 21 and Sunday, Dec. 22.

After the opening night performance Dec. 13 there will be a hot cocoa and cookie reception.

This year marks the 23rd time the holiday production has been staged by Lakewood Theatre Company.

The show directed by Sara Kennedy Adams is an adaptation of the popular short story written by Barbara Robinson and originally published by McCall's Magazine.

The play is about the Herdsmans, who were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked rough and hit little kids and talked back to their teachers.

So it surprised just about everyone when they decided to take part in the town's Christmas pageant.

The Herdsman kids had never heard of the Christmas story, but the way they interpreted it, you'd think the story of Jesus came right out of the F.B.I. files. (They called the Wise Men a bunch of dirty spies.) It was a Christmas pageant to remember. It is considered an American classic ... one of the best Christmas stories ever told.

Featured performers include Kristen Paige as Grace Bradley, Troy Sawyer as Bob Bradley, Allison Jaffe as Beth Bradley and Rylan Andrews as Charlie Bradley. The Herdsmen children are played by Jack Gordon, Kalia Rechenberg, Gabriel Wyant, Violet Adams, Sophie Isensee and Hazel Bateman.

Others in the cast include Ania Leonardo as Alice, McKenna Adams as Maxine, Jason Nuesa as Elmer/Shepherd, Stephanie Crowley as Mrs. McCarthy, Sarah Wang as Mrs. Clausing, Jade Tate as Mrs. Slocum, Olivia Noelle as Mrs. Clark, Jincy Pace as Helen Armstrong, and Jeff Brosy as Rev. Hopkins.

The ensemble includes Josiah Moothart as Hobie/Shepherd, Miriam Kelly as Roberta/Angel Choir, Emma Tamburro as Davina/Angel Choir, Aidan Pace as Naomi/Angel Choir, and Z'ev Singer as Henry/Shepherd.

The Angel Choir is composed of Rosalie Johnson, Maya Ye, Maggie Morrissey, Lily Pechacek and Julia Parish.

The theater is located at 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students.

Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. For tickets call 503-635-3901 or visit lakewood-center.org.


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