Monday, September 1, 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

Highway 12 project nears completion

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Goodwill opens Outlet Store in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield economic team announces addition

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

Premier post details of new lease

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Il Fiorello to host jazz event

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

Partnership HealthPlan releases survey results

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
New doctors join NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

Small earthquakes shake Solano

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

.

Opinion

Compromise on Cordelia Road rail crossing costs

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Justice for all

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Good job, Susan Winlow

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Source: 49ers OL Boone agrees to new 2-yr deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49er Ray McDonald accused of domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kahne holds off Kenseth to win Atlanta shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova, in US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons looking to be defensive

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s frustrated after 8-1 loss caps sweep by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Ernst wins LPGA’s Portland Classic in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants power past Brewers 15-5 for 3-game sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Down at half, US beats Turkey in basketball worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Source: Chiefs’ Smith agrees to 4-yr extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart’s return to race track ends early

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sam clears waivers, meets with Fisher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FC Kansas City wins NWSL title over Seattle, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders claim DE Mayowa off waivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jensen waived after Jaguars awarded TE Shuler

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Otto wins Italian Open; Gallacher comes up short

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Weather for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Henley takes a 1-shot lead at Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dunn dealt to A’s, could be his last shot playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Fred Couples wins Champions Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
Laurie Danielson Bailey

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Pickles Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Sept 1

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7