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H.J. Cody students gear up for a Christmas musical

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” will run from Dec. 6-16
Actors Stephanie Vetter and Cole Joseph prep for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by going over lines. Photo Submitted

In 2006, H.J. Cody Drama presented “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” based on the popular children’s book of the same name. It was a charming little show that still is one of my favourite memories as a director. However, since then the play has been adapted into a Christmas musical full of even more charm and fun. As the artistic director of the production, it is always my biggest challenge finding the right script for the right group of students. We had actually chosen a different show this summer but when this one landed on my desk, I knew without a doubt it was the right one for this cast of kids right now. The show is truly an ensemble piece with everyone having a good role to sink their teeth into. “No small parts!”

The story has been adapted from the play into a musical and tells the story of two families and a congregation of colourful characters. “The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world - so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be fighting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone from the terrified pint-sized shepherds to the furious church ladies are calling for first-time director Grace to cancel the whole thing. It’s up to her and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes.”

I am thrilled to be working with a team of people who are passionate about kids and theatre. Teaming up with us again is H.J. Cody Music Director Kerry Heisler, choreographer Lacey Robley and student choreographer Sydney Lindstrand, Technical Director Tanya Becker, Production Assistant Sam Mielke, Props Manager Megan Roth, Costume Manager Janet Stoesz, and Set Design and Construction James and Elizabeth McCallum. Along with student stage manager Josiah MacIntyre, student lighting designer Aiden Meier, and student sound designer Jagger Fifield, the show has a full compliment of people working in the background to bring the show together.

The production has a cast of 27 students from Grade 9-12 that have been working since early September on the production that will open to the public on Wed., Dec. 6. The show will run from Dec. 6-16 with a dessert theatre for all audience members on Fri., Dec. 15 and an optional dinner theatre available n Dec. 16 for 50 of the 200 hundred seats available. Tickets are $12 dollars for the show, $20 for the dessert theatre and $25 for the dinner theatre.

Tickets for regular shows for H.J. Cody students and families are available to purchase online through the Chinook’s Edge Website beginning on Nov. 2. Tickets for dessert theatre, dinner theatre and community members are available at H.J. Cody school during office hours.

We hope you will join us for this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Silent night? Not a chance. But sometimes a little joyful noise is needed just right for Christmas and it’s at H.J. Cody!

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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