‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ brings order from chaos

Starring in "The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever" are from left, Katie Villalobos, Aaron Bales, Elana Zahn and Toby Zahn. Photo courtesy Merrilee Bales


What happens when Mrs. Armstrong breaks her leg in Barbara Robinson’s play, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”?

All heaven breaks loose!

To start with, Grace Bradley get stuck with being in charge and on the day she hands out parts, the Herdmans — with reputations as the worst kids in the whole history of the world — show up and volunteer for all the main parts. Every rehearsal is disrupted when the Herdmans take over and cause total chaos.

This fast-moving comedy is directed by veteran dramatist Merrilee Bales and narrated and acted by Elana Zahn, who plays Beth, the daughter of Grace Bradley.

The lead part of Grace Bradley is brought to life by stage veteran Katie Villalobos. With multiple plays in her resume, Villalobos applies her skill and energy to this very funny character.

Returning to the stage in Perry is Aaron Bales, portraying Bob, Grace’s husband, who is unwilling to lend a helping hand to his stressed-out wife.

Completing the Bradley family is Charlie, played by stage veteran Toby Zahn.

The Herdman clan is made up of Jarret Orman, Isaiah Tinker, Drake Levan, Armond Tinker, Kyrie Zahn and Ameli Zahn. These six actors have a mixture of stage experience that brings this stage family to life and adds to the strength of this outstanding cast.

The snooty part of Alice is brought to stage by Jacey Orman. Alice is the troublemaker of the church and frequently goes nose to nose with Beth. Other Sunday school characters are played by Jenner Orman, Lael Tinker, Carter Iben and Kate Schuttler.

The play would not be complete without a few baby angels, shepherds and an angel choir, and no church is complete without a pastor, played by Drew Zahn, and a few gossiping church ladies, played by Debi Debi Zahn, Michelle Pennenger and Deb Van Gundy.

As Mrs. Armstrong says in the play, “There are no small parts , only small actors.” Every child in this play does have an important part, and we hope the public will join us for a night of fun.

Performances at the Perry Bible Church on Iowa Highway 141 at 12th Street in Perry are planned for Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.


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