Tuesday, November 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ offers locals a yuletide alternative

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Missouri Street Theatre

From the left, Thomas Sklar, Harrison Schaufel, Emily Qvistgaard, Ariel Tenenbaun and Hannah Brudney play the six delinquent children surnamed Herdman in the Missouri Street Theatre's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." (Conner Jay/Daily Republic)

By
From page B1 | December 21, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — While the Charles Dickens’ tale about a cranky miser being transformed into a Christmas zealot is a classic, it isn’t the only Christmas show being offered despite the proliferation of adaptations locally. Missouri Street Theatre’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” opens this weekend and celebrates the season with much mirth.

“I don’t mean any disrespect at all, but next to the four different versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that were produced locally, our show is very different,”  said Dae Spering, the director. “It’s funny, first and foremost. At the end, the kids who have been making you laugh put on a pretty neat little Christmas pageant.”

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was a book written by Barbara Robinson and published in 1971. It was adapted into a play in 1982 and into a television special the following year, starring Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H fame. The story is about what happens when the worst children in town crash a Christmas pageant.

“It’s a well-known book and I’ve found out how well-known because people are calling for tickets and saying that they read the book or their kids read the book,” Spering said.

The play is the first non-musical that Spering – who has a long history of performing, directing and producing musicals – has directed.

“While there are Christmas carols in the pageant, it is not a musical where the actors stop the dialogue because the emotion is so overwhelming they need to tell you about it in song,” Spering said. “So I got through it really quickly without having to stage a huge Broadway show number and the kids got to delve into the characters and the staging and the story.”

While 11 of the show’s 15 cast members are children, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is not one of Missouri Street Theatre’s  children’s productions. It is, instead, a main stage production of their professional company and follows on the heels of “Legally Blonde,” “The Marvelous Wonderettes” and “The Music Man.”

“We have a really strong cast, so the acting and performing are impressive. The narrator is Julia Franks and she is a triple threat who can sing, dance and act. She is a magical bunny on stage,” Spering said. “A delightful actor named Paul Henry auditioned and I told him ‘I like you, come join our team’ and he plays the father. And Rachel Quinonez, who is usually our stage manager, is actually playing the mother.”

Fairfield resident Quinonez, 26, has been impressed by Spering’s ability to precisely communicate her vision of the play to the actors. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” represents a number of firsts for her.

“This will be my first production with children and my first production with Missouri Street Theatre,” Quinonez said. “It is also the first time I have been back performing at the downtown theater since I was 11 or 12 years old doing children’s theater. There are great adults in the show, but finally being on stage with these awesome (Missouri Street Theatre) kids and theater kids from other productions is amazing. They are so professional.”

Quinonez worked for years as a part-time backstage theater technician and stage manager. While she relishes being in the spotlight, her heart is behind the scenes.

“I love theater in general and any way I can be a part of it is always going to make me happy. But if I had to choose between being an actress or being a tech or stage manager, at heart I’m a technician,” Quinonez said. “I love seeing the result of everyone’s hard work on stage. The audience, hopefully, doesn’t even think about the technicians because they are just lost in the story on stage.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

 

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

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 28-29; 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 29; 6 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 30
  • Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, 1035 Texas St.
  • www.missouristreettheatre.com
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

Soroptimists seek award applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Science comes to libraries – for all to see

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Library schedules soap-making program

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
 
Volunteers help Mission Solano pack for food giveaway

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Incumbent Democrats lose in 2 close California Assembly races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
VA fires Phoenix hospital director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iraqi troops take 2 towns from Islamic State group

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Iran nuclear talks stumble, extended until July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brown names assistant US attorney to high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Driver fatigue may have caused California crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Israel resumes razing homes to punish attackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
GOP wisdom shifts on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 8 Comments | Gallery

Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No charges in Ferguson case; chaos fills streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 70 Comments | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
Senate staff cuts reduce transparency

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

‘Wizard of Oz’ Cowardly Lion costume fetches $3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Miller puts own spin on longtime ‘GH’ character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘Today’ looks to rebound from tough week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Review: Turmoil helps AC/DC shine on new album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Guitarist: Leon Russell band’s instruments stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Sting tries to help his ailing Broadway musical

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

In wake of Spotify pullout, music industry debates streaming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bill Weir’s new CNN series to begin in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Forsett leads Ravens past Saints, 34-27

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bills rout Jets 38-3 in rescheduled game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Even top NFL teams have taken steps back

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aldon Smith helps lead in 49ers’ 3rd straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rod Streater returns to practice for Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Taylor apologizes, won’t appeal NBA suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on Hall of Fame ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

LeBron on Cavaliers’ issues: “I stink”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Police: Manziel’s entourage attacked fan at hotel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants set record with $388,606 postseason shares

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Longtime NHL coach, executive Pat Quinn dies at 71

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pablo Sandoval reaches multiyear deal with Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
San Francisco turning to groundwater for its taps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina the new No. 1 in AP women’s hoops

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Budweiser gives Clydesdales holiday pink slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 3 Comments

 
Redbox raising DVD rental rates by 25 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Unidentified country likely behind spying software

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Honda admits failing to report deaths, injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
United Technologies CEO retires, succeeded by CFO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Nike extends contract with USOC through 2020

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High-end home sales surge in Southern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Rose is Rose Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4