M’CHIGEENG—It was a full house of proud parents and community members for Lakeview School’s production of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ last Friday night.
The play was a reunion of sorts, marking the school’s first big performance five years ago of the same production, which sparked Lakeview’s budding drama program and countless other productions.
‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ is a book written by Barbara Robinson in 1971, which sold over 800,000 copies. It has since been adapted into a play, as well as a television movie.
The story centers around a family of six delinquent children, the Herdmans, who go to church for the first time in pursuit of snacks, but after learning of the Christmas pageant, volunteer for its lead roles. Their participation creates uproar from the church members who in the end are proven wrong when the production ends up being the best Christmas pageant ever (hence the title).
Sarah Migwans-Bayer shone as the tough, but hilarious, Imogene Herdman, earning her praises from the younger Lakeview School students who watched the dress rehearsal Friday afternoon.
“My favourite part was Sarah trying to burp the baby,” said Lucy, a Grade 2 student. “She was really funny,” added fellow Grade 2 student Montana.
The other lead cast members were Nathan Bush as Mr. Bradley, Whitney White as Mrs. Bradley, Cassandra Bisson as Beth Bradley (the narrator), Cordell White as Charlie Bradley, Pierre Debassige as Ralph Herdman, Dallas Simon as Leroy Herdman, Kyle Debassige as Claude Herdman, Danny Feir as Ollie Herdman and Anawahs Migwans as Gladys Herdman.
The entire cast gave a phenomenal performance, truly showcasing the production the ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’
Josephine Sagon played Alice Wendleken, Ashlyn Hare played Mrs. Armstrong, Tara Hoppe, Mrs. Slocum; Caiylee Ense, Mrs. Clark; Rose Wabegijik, Mrs. Clausing; Trinity Simon, Mrs. McCarthy; Summer Beaudin, Maxine; Jacob Genereux, Elmer Hopkins; Joel Trudeau, Hobie; Brandon McGauley, David; Kennedy Nakogee, Beverly; Broadus Debassige, fireman 1; Luke Wabegijik, fireman 2; Randi Lynn Lovelace, Shirley; Alexis Panamick, Juanita; Valerie Wabegijik, Doris; Nihge McLeod, Reverend Hopkins; Toni Waboose, Maverick Bushey, Shannon Debassige and Anthony Wabegiik, the angels, choir members, baby angels and shepherds; Caleb Blackbird, Mr. Slocum; Craig Cress, Mr. Clausing; Gerard Armstrong, Mr. McCarthy; Shannon Debassige, Mr. Armstrong; and Lakeview School Principal Neil Debassige as himself.
The stage crew included Kyle Debassige, Dallas Simon and Danny Feir, while the sound/lights were controlled by Amy Mavec. Graphics were by Candi Kaiser; costumes, Craig Cress; and set design and props, Ramona Ense and Adam Roy.
The team of directors were Joanne Smith, Craig Cress, Ramona Ense, Connie Freeman, Emile Lalonde, Ashley Burke and Kim Debassige.
Ms. Freeman commented to The Expositor following the performance that the entire cast and crew had been working very hard for months on the Christmas production.
“The students have been practicing since late October/early November,” said Ms. Freeman, noting that the cast was made up of Grade 6, 7 and 8 students. “It was a big job and the kids have worked really hard.”
All their work paid off, as the parents and community members beamed with pride and the cast and crew of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ took their bows.