The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

By Barbara Robinson

The Herdmans are famous (or if you will, infamous) around the community they live in. Among other things, they lie, steal, hit people, ignore and/or cuss at their teachers and other people in authority (parents, the Police, etc), set fire to things, and, in general, cause trouble. All six also smoke cigars. The kids' parents were often unseen. Their mother, Mrs. Herdman, worked double shifts at the town's shoe factory although she would be seen around town walking their pet cat (a mean one-eyed cat) on a double length of chain; and Mr. Herdman deserted the family when Gladys, the youngest and meanest of all of them, was only two years old. The kids and their mother live over a garage at the bottom of Sproul Hill, in town.

The story is narrated by Beth Bradley, a girl of the same age as the second oldest Herdman, Imogene. In some ways, Imogene sees Beth as perhaps the only person that she can trust, even though Beth often tries to avoid Imogene. Beth's brother, Charlie, had, unwisely, told Leroy Herdman, the same age as he, that they received snacks at Church, and, because of that, they all came to the church for the first time.

Beth's mother, Grace, had been put in charge of the pageant when the original leader, Mrs. Helen Armstrong, fell and broke her leg. It was at that point, when the Herdmans came, and were cast in the Christmas play. This didn't sit well with most of the other members of the church, most especially, Mrs. Wendleken, the mother of Beth's prissy, arrogant, stuck-up friend, Alice. Alice, like her mother, didn't like the Herdmans, and sometimes didn't really like others either. She feels that she is above everyone else, and her mother is extremely prudish. Beth likes her, but she could get fed up with her and her sanctimony as well.

After various travails, including an incident where everything seemed to go completely topsy-turvy (being called the one great big sinful thing Alice Wendleken had hoped for, which allowed her mother to call everyone on the phone to have the Herdmans forcibly removed), the show goes on, and it turns out to be one of the most memorable Christmas plays ever, since the Herdmans mainly do what comes naturally.

Produced by Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa at CAL Center, 1100 S. Albert Ave, Reedsburg

Performances: December 14-23, 2012

Performance Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sunday Matinee at 2:00 PM

Ticket Prices: Adults $15.00 Students & Senior Citizens $13.00 Children 12 and under $5.00

Call (414) 207-4879 for reservations or more information.

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Auditions will be held on the following days:


Auditions begin at 7:00 PM
Divine Word Lutheran Church
5505 West Lloyd Street

For more info:
(414) 207-4879