Theater to perform ‘Best Christmas Pageant’



Actors rehearse for Acadia Community Theater’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” to be staged at The Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor and the Pemetic School in Southwest Harbor. PHOTO COURTESY OF ACT

Actors rehearse for Acadia Community Theater’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” to be staged at The Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor and the Pemetic School in Southwest Harbor.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ACT

MOUNT DESERT — The Acadia Community Theater (ACT) will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in two venues this holiday season. The show will be performed at The Criterion Theatre on Friday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. The following weekend, it will be at the Pemetic School in Southwest Harbor on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m.

This play is based on the book of the same name written by Barbara Robinson and published in 1972, making it a favorite holiday memory of many of today’s parents. Directed by ACT cofounder and Mount Desert Island High School history teacher Mark Puglisi, the production brings together children and adults from all over MDI for an evening of entertainment.

In a small town somewhere in the USA, a church is getting ready to stage its annual Christmas pageant, the retelling of the Christmas story, complete with Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the Angel of the Lord. Unfortunately, Mrs. Armstrong, who always has directed the play, has broken her leg, and the church ladies need to find a replacement. Young mom Grace Bradley takes on the role with some trepidation, but really, how hard can it be?

Enter the Herdmans, five of the most inventively awful kids in history. Having learned of the free refreshments served at church, these kids arrive to the casting call, and their mere presence intimidates all other potential volunteers, leaving Imogene, Ralph and Gladys Herdman playing all the major roles. Mayhem and hilarity ensue, and after hearing tales of fires, underwear and cigar smoking in the ladies’ room, the minister wonders if the pageant should be canceled. But the show goes on, with surprising results.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under and seniors. The Acadia Community Theater is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization committed to involving all interested community members in the many aspects of live theater.

 

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