THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: THE MUSICAL

Book and Lyrics               Music and Lyrics

Jahnna Beecham           Malcolm Hillgartner

Based on the play and book by Barbara Robinson

Musical Arrangements/Orchestrations Deborah Wicks La Puma


SYNOPSIS

The Herdmans

The Herdmans

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is the story of the Herdmans, who are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, they steal, they bully other kids, and they smoke smelly cigars. There used to be only one place where you’d never see them—church. This all changes when Charlie Bradley brags that his Sunday school offers free snacks. All six of the Herdmans show up at church in search of pizza, cookies and Hawaiian Punch, and end up in the Christmas pageant. Charlie’s mom, Grace, is the novice director, who not only casts them in the show but, much to the dismay of the other kids, let’s them play all the leads. Grace instantly finds herself caught between two forces of nature—the Herdmans and Helen Armstrong, who speaks for all of the outraged citizens of the town. Grace has two choices: get rid of the Herdmans, or let them stay and risk being blamed for the worst pageant in the history of the world.

(Based on the best-selling book and play, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson)


Cast List
Adults: 5 W, 2 M
Kids: 5 G, 7 B
Possible to enlarge cast to 30 or 40

Music:
Scored for keyboards/guitar/bass/drums/reeds
Piano/vocal score available
Tracks available

Unit Set: A single set can be used to be the church, the lunchroom, the Bradley Home and Hospital with the addition of chairs, tables, a podium and hospital bed.

The Herdman Kids:
Ralph the oldest and coolest. Hes the enforcer, 13
Imogene leader of the Herdmans. Shes loud, bossy, and crafty, 12
Leroy Ralphs back-up. Very confident in the muscle department, 11
Claude ­scrappy and smart, 10
Ollie a bit of a naïve urchin who follows the older boys leads, 9
Gladys little but fierce. Nothing scares Gladys, 8

The Bradleys:
Grace sweet, good-humored, slightly frazzled mom, 35 to 40ish.
Bob easy-going dad, wry sense of humor, 35 to 40ish
Charlie typical kid brother, says what he thinks, 10
Beth Charlies older, and wiser sister. Shes honest and kind, 11

Church People:
Helen Armstrong organized steamroller. Shes always in charge, 40 to 50ish
Reverend Hopkins occasionally befuddled, always well-meaning, 40 to 50ish

Church Ladies:
Luanne sassy, tells it like it is, 35 to 40ish
Betty sweet southerner, calls everyone honey, 30 to 40ish
Connie direct, no nonsense type, 30 to 40ish

Kids:
Alice Wendleken know-it-all. She thinks shes perfect, 11
Elmer Hopkins preachers kid, which means he needs to behave and be nice, 10
Teddy Shoemaker  wimpy kid with glasses, asks too many questions, 9
Ivy Reed Beths earnest friend who is sometimes a goody-goody, 11

 Other kids (optional):
Various kids can play angels and shepherds in the pageant, and other kids in the lunchroom.


PREMIERE PRODUCTION

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical opened November 25, 2017 at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in North Carolina. It was directed by Adam Burke, choreographed by Ron Chisholm, and music directed by Mike Wilkins. Tom Burch designed sets, Magda Guichard designed costumes, David Fillmore designed lights, and Jason Romney sound. Hazel Doherty was stage manager.

Grace Bradley:  Ashley Goodson,   Bob Bradley:  Bobby Tyson,  Charlie Bradley:  Bennett Harris,  Beth Bradley:  Arella Flur,  Ralph Herdman:  Colin Samole,  Imogene Herdman:  Carlyn Head,  Leroy Herdman:  Rixey Terry,  Claude Herdman:  Will Giannuzzi,  Ollie Herdman:  Isa Long,  Gladys Herdman:  Charli Head,  Helen Armstrong:  Allison Snow Rhinehardt,  Connie:  Tiffany Bear,  Luannne:  Olivia Edge,  Betty:  Tracie Frank,  Rev. Hopkins:  Dan Brunson,  Alice Wendleken:  Ryann Losee,  Ivy:  Laurel Farr,  Elmer Hopkins:  Wilson Moroz,  Teddy:  Luke Linkel,  Ensemble:  Lydia Farr, Allie Joseph, Andrew Henriques, Max Joseph, Julianna Kantor, and Haley Vogel

Grace Bradley: Ashley Goodson,  Bob Bradley: Bobby Tyson, Charlie Bradley: Bennett Harris, Beth Bradley: Arella Flur, Ralph Herdman: Colin Samole, Imogene Herdman: Carlyn Head, Leroy Herdman: Rixey Terry, Claude Herdman: Will Giannuzzi, Ollie Herdman: Isa Long, Gladys Herdman: Charli Head, Helen Armstrong: Allison Snow Rhinehardt, Connie: Tiffany Bear, Luannne: Olivia Edge, Betty: Tracie Frank, Rev. Hopkins: Dan Brunson, Alice Wendleken: Ryann Losee, Ivy: Laurel Farr, Elmer Hopkins: Wilson Moroz, Teddy: Luke Linkel, Ensemble: Lydia Farr, Allie Joseph, Andrew Henriques, Max Joseph, Julianna Kantor, and Haley Vogel