Getting into the holiday spirit with ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

What happens when Murphy’s Law—where everything that possibly could go wrong, goes wrong— settles in as the annual church pageant is pulled together?

You’ll find out this weekend as a cast of adults and children gather for Southington Community Theatre’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

The press release from SCT explains the show is about a “couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant (and) is faced with casting the Herdman kids—probably the most inventively awful kids in history.

“This show personifies the spirit of the holiday season,” said the show’s director Jyll Perlini in an email interview. “It sends a great message that the most important gifts don’t come from a store. Love, kindness, and acceptance bring out the Christmas spirit in even the most reluctant characters in this show.”

The show offers a break from more traditional Christmas fare performed this year.

“You’ll hear familiar Christmas carols that you know and love (musical director is Allison Platt), but there’s so much more in this show,” said Perlini. “Along with touching moments, you’ll also find yourself laughing at the hilarity of watching a group of ‘misfits’ trying to put on a Christmas pageant.”

For the performers and director, said Perlini, “There are so many parts of this show (about what goes on behind the scenes of a show) that ring true. The ‘rehearsal scenes’ when the mother is trying to figure out costumes, props, and characters are especially relatable. It can be frustrating and challenging at times, but so worth it in the end.”

“That is something that I learned as well as the characters in the play,” said Perlini.

Unlike many SCT productions, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” spotlights the younger talent in the area.

“At auditions,” said Perlini. “I was so astounded at the amount of talented kids we have in Southington and the surrounding towns. Every child who came to audition had something special to offer. I was even more surprised when we started music rehearsals and there were even some kids who wanted to have solos and play instruments. This has been such a rewarding and humbling experience.”

Overall, said Perlini of her cast, “One of the characters has a line that says, ‘There are no small parts, only small actors.’ This may be a cliché theatrical phrase, but it is so true in this show.”

“Every cast member has something special to offer to this show,” said Perlini. Perlini said, “Whether it is perfect comedic timing, a beautiful singing voice, or even the ability to play an instrument I continue to be impressed. Everyone has contributed something unique to this show.”

“Even the parents of the children in this cast have been extremely helpful to make this show the best Christmas pageant ever,” said the director.

As for why the whole family will enjoy the show, Perlini said, “The parents will relate to the mother of this show trying to ‘do it all’ at Christmas time. You’ll laugh at watching her try to keep the Christmas spirit alive while trying to juggle directing a play. You’ll fall in love with the characters of this show- even the Herdman children who throw the show into a whirlwind. This show is filled with laughter and joy that every member of your family will appreciate. I guarantee that every person watching this show will leave feeling the spirit of the season.”

Southington Community Theatre “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 121 Pleasant St., Southington. Advance tickets are $10 for children under 18 and seniors 65 and older, and $15 for adults. Tickets at the door are $15 for children under 18 and seniors 65 and older, and $20 for adults. Advance tickets are available at Just For You Gift Shoppe, 979 Meriden-Waterbury Road, Plantsville, The Music Shop, 405 Queen Street, Southington, and Domino’s, 200 Main Street, Southington. Tickets are also available online at https://squareup.com/store/SouthingtonCommunityTheatre.

For more information, visit www.southingtoncommunitytheatre.org, email southingtoncommunitytheatre@gmail.com, or call (203)558-5358.

The cast of Southington Community Theatre’s ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ which will be performed this weekend.