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Sterling Playmakers The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

By • Dec 5th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Sterling Playmakers’ The Best Christmas Pageant Ever [MP3 3:55 1.8MB].

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Sterling Playmakers
Sterling Middle School, Sterling, VA
Performances Through Dec. 9th

Laura: This is the review of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever performed by the Sterling Playmakers in Sterling, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Sunday afternoon, December 2, 2007.

Mike: This is a cute little show that runs just over an hour long. It is very kid appropriate. I think most people can identify with with Christmas pageants that spotlight the church kids. It can be a headache, but also a lot of fun and cute. There is an unexpected twist that happens and you don’t know what to expect.

Laura: I agree this was a family friendly show. Everybody did a pretty good job, right down to the baby angels at the end. They were cute. It was interesting, there was a nice hidden message in there that came out at the end that I thought was really nice.

Mike: What message was that? Did I miss it?

Laura: It wasn’t really a hidden message. Imogene Herdman finally got the spirit of Christmas and got emotional. That was what I meant. It wasn’t a deep hidden meaning. It was more of Imogene’s revelation that was kind of nice to see.

Mike: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a play based on the book written by Barbara Robinson. It’s the story of a small church putting together their annual Christmas Pageant. Unfortunately the woman who puts it together every year breaks her leg and they have to scramble to find a new director. The new director has never done a Christmas pageant before and so she wings it and the Herdmans, the worst kids in town, end up as the principal characters in the show. Add some chaos and you get a funny show.

Laura: Beth Bradley, the show’s narrator, was played by Brett Richard. She did well. She was very much exasperated by the Herdmans who were going to come in and destroy everything this little church has worked for for many years just because they thought they were getting refreshments during Sunday School, which was why they showed up in the first place.

Mike: She was very well cast for the part. She kept the pace moving along well, explaining to the audience. I could see a little bit of cockiness and confidence in her. I think it was a good decision.

Her mother, who ended up being the director of the pageant, Mrs. Bradley or Mom, was played by Leighn Ann Macklin. She had just the right amount of exasperation in her voice trying to explain the Christmas story to the kids and trying to keep her husband in line. I think that worked out pretty well.

Laura: She was very frazzled. Although during the Christmas Pageant itself I could see the pride in her as she knew the kids were going to do the best they could.

Mike: The Herdman clan was a bunch of ragtag kids just looking for some good food. They definitely had a fun time with the part. They were allowed to hit each other and play around on stage. The Herdmans were played by Chris Sanderson, Ellen Cranley, Nicholas Whitmore, Joao Versos, Trevor Burch, and Sydney Maloney.

Laura: The set was very simple. This was more a character piece than a lot of set, but they did a nice job. The setting in the family room was very well done.

Mike: The show runs just about an hour long. I think kids can sit through that. There were a lot of children at the performance we saw. You need to prepare them for what theater is. It’s not TV. There were some rambunctious kids siting right behind us. Otherwise it was a really good show and we think you’ll have a good time. It’s running through Sunday the 9th at the Sterling Middle School. Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Beth Bradley: Brett Richard
  • Alice Wendleken: McKensey Struzik
  • Maxine: Abby Tebbenhoff
  • Charlie Bradley: Connor Gavan
  • Mrs. Bradley/Mom: Leigh Ann Macklin
  • Mr. Bradley/Dad: Michael Todd
  • Mrs. McCarthy: Ruth McDowell
  • Mrs. Clarkensing: Anne McNeil
  • Mrs. Slocum: Nguyet Melendez
  • Mrs. Armstrong: Susan Engel
  • Leroy Herdman: Chris Sanderson
  • Imogene Herdman: Ellen Cranley
  • Beverly: Gina Edivan
  • Elmer Hopkins: Clay Smith
  • Hobie: Thomas Shively
  • David: Shaun Silk
  • Ralph Herdman: Nicholas Whitmore
  • Claude Herdman: Joao Versos
  • Ollie Herdman: Trevor Burch
  • Gladys Herdman: Sydney Maloney
  • Doris: Allison Engel
  • Baby Angel#1: Callan McCormick
  • Baby Angel#2: Leecy Silk
  • Reverend Hopkins: Pete Edivan
  • Kid’s Choir: Molly Bouffard (Choral Leader), Katie Ferrante, Hannah Ferrante, Courtney Garofolo, Kerry Johnson, Katie Macklin, Kellie McDowell, Alli Marie Roaquin, Shannon Silk, Rachel Vera, Sierra Wharton
  • Baby Angel choir: Melody Flores, Dominik Jordan, Callan McCormick, Sorayah Melendez, Leecy Silk, Lindsay Silk


  • Producer: April Bridgeman
  • Director: Liz Smith
  • Assistant Director: Scott Strasbaugh
  • Choral Director: Cristin Williamson
  • Technical Director/Set Designer: Bill Fry
  • Production Stage Manager: Helen Gernhardt
  • Stage Manager: Terry Smith
  • Asst. Stage Manager: Jim Whitmore
  • Running Crew: Megan Collins & Keith Flores
  • Lighting: Terry DiMurro
  • Spotlight Operator: Lisa Ingram
  • Sound: Doug Pascale
  • Costume Manager: Barbara Fink
  • Publicity Chairman: Laura Garofolo
  • Props Mistress: April Biedgeman
  • Box Office Manager: Mark Humphrey
  • House Manager: Lora Buckman
  • Photographer: David Harback
  • Hair/Makeup Designer: Danica Shook
  • Construction Crew: Lisa Alford, Joe Campanella, David Chappell, Jerry Crawford, Bill Fry, Moira McCormick, Ross Monroe, Dale Richard, Anne Shively, Stephen Smith, Jennifer Sowalla
  • Bulk Mail Manager: Joe Campanella
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