Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ is funny, charming

By
From page B4 | December 27, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — I don’t know if there is a name for when, in a movie or a play, you change from silly to serious nor if there is a corresponding moniker for the morphed emotions that are evoked, but there really should be.

Nineteen-eighties filmmaker John Hughes (“The Breakfast Club,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”etc.) used the technique to great effect.

In relation to Missouri Street Theatre’s latest production, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” it is apropos because I went having not seen the show and was expecting something very different from what happened. I expected pure farce and while I got some of that, I was also surprised to find my heart warmed.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was written By Barbara Robinson and first published in McCall’s magazine and later made into a book in 1971. It became a play and made-for-television movie in 1982 and 1983, respectively.

The story is basically about  how the Herdmans, six siblings from the “wrong side of the tracks,”  finagle their way into the local church’s annual Christmas pageant. The bad news Herdman children were played with kinetic gusto by Emily Qvistgaard (Imogene), Harrison Schaufel (Claude), Thomas Sklar (Ralph), John Craig (Leroy), Hannah Brudney (Ollie) and Ariel Tenenbaum (Gladys).

I  have run into Rachel Quinonez backstage at the Arty Awards working as a tech it is always nice to see folks who usually labor behind the scenes get their time in the spotlight. I have seen Quinonez in a couple of productions (Bay Area Stage’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Lion in Winter”), but not in a lead role.

As Grace Bradley, a mother suddenly given the task of directing the Christmas play, and consequently having to herd the Herdmans, Quinonez was superb.

Julia Franks played the role of Beth Bradley, Grace’s daughter and also doubled as the narrator and was excellent in both capacities.

Skyler Hebron played Charlie Bradley and was expressive and funny. Paul Henry as Bob Bradley, Grace’s husband, delivered  his character’s witty lines with impeccable timing and tone. Juls Romualdi as Alice Wendelkeken, was appropriately snarky due to her losing the role of Mary in the play to Imogene Herdman.

There were a number of very funny situations with the Herdmans including one when they spontaneously attempted to “improve” on the birth of Jesus story and another that resulted from Imogene Herdman’s habit of smoking cigars in the church bathroom.

The play is fast-paced, funny and charming and tells the entire tale in about an hour including intermission. In the brief time, the cast nailed their respective parts.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is not a musical, but the Christmas carols in the pageant (“Silent Night,” “We Three Things” etc) were blissful in their delivery. There were strong singers in the cast including Tyler Bertani and Romualdi, who both added delightful harmonies.

One of the things I really appreciated was the sound design by Craig Scharfen.  It can be tricky when you have two auditory things going on simultaneously such as a voiced-over phone conversation and dialogue between actors onstage, but they were done very nicely and I had no trouble following what was happening and who was saying what.

Director Dae Spering has brought huge Missouri Street Theatre productions to the theater downtown such as “Chess in Concert” and while “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” had fewer moving parts, the quality and attention to detail were still present when it came to execution of the respective theater elements and the delivery of the performers on stage.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected]

Missouri Street Theatre presents: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday,2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 29; 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Downtown Theatre, 1035 Texas St.
  • www.missouristreettheatre.com
  • three stars out of four
Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 4 Comments

Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7