THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER Returns to SteppingStone Theatre, 11/30-12/23

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"Shazaaaam!" When the Angel of the Lord speaks, people listen! Especially when that angel is Gladys Herdman, the youngest, meanest and bitey-est of the whole Herdman crew. The first play that SteppingStone Theatre produced is back again for the 21st time! Revel in yuletide chaos and hilarity as baby angels, church ladies, firefighters, the Bradleys, and even the Herdmans, discover the true meaning of Christmas. This popular classic returns to SteppingStone's stage, re-imagined, but as funny and touching as ever.

SteppingStone Theatre has always made it part of their mission to foster the best local talent through commissioning new plays and music for their productions, many of which go on to be published and/or produced around the country. For this 25th Anniversary Season, SteppingStone continues that long history with this re-created production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

This year's production will feature Alicia Danby as Mrs. Bradley. Alicia's casting is a special and exciting one for SteppingStone. Alicia had participated in SteppingStone productions as a child, and she is thrilled to be able to be a part of the Anniversary Season, with roles in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! and in the upcoming production of Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges.

Alicia says, "What brought me back to Stepping Stone was remembering how much fun I had as a child along with the knowledge that I would be involved in a great family-friendly production. I remember how friendly and accommodating, and professionAl Richard and the rest of the staff were. I also wanted to perform in the new SteppingStone building. I remember how hard they worked for this space, and thought it would be wonderful to say I had worked at both the Landmark location and in the new theater at different times of my life!"

She goes on to explain, "I went to the University of Minnesota for Theatre and Elementary Education, so acting in SteppingStone productions is a great way to combine the two. As an adult actor, I haven't worked with a lot of children on stage, so I thought it would be a challenge for myself and allow me to grow as a performer. Children have this energy that is infectious, fun and carefree and I wanted to surround myself with that! The show is also about Christmas and the holiday season. I love the holidays, the lights, music and family, and this production is the perfect example of holiday excitement and nostalgia."

SteppingStone has a proud tradition of fostering that family togetherness, especially in productions of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! where family members can appear together. In this production there are several families who are acting together, including Corey Mills and his daughter Lillian; sisters Realutee Willis and Essence Harvey and their mother Vineetra, sisters Ellie and Tabitha Haugen; and Kristi Zabriski and her daughter Joy.

The production stars Ciara Humphrey (16) as Imogene Herdman, Quincy Lewis (10) as Claude Herdman, Lillian Mills (10) as Gladys Herdman, Aleksandr Tomasevich (10) as Leroy Herdman, Timmy Torinus (9) as Ollie Herman, and adult actors Alicia Dansby as Grace Bradley, Corey Mills as Bob Bradley and Josh Borstein as Rev. Hopkins.

Performance Dates and Times

Friday, November 30: 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 1: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Sunday, December 2: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Wednesday, December 5: 10:00 am
Thursday, December 6: 10:00 am and noon
Friday. December 7: 10:00 am and 7:00 pm
(Audio Described performance)
Saturday, December 8: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Sunday, December 9: 2:00 pm and 4 pm (ASL Interpreted Performance)
Wednesday, December 12: 10:00 am
Thursday, December 13: 10:00 am and noon
Friday. December 14: 10:00 am and 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 15: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Sunday, December 16: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Wednesday, December 19: 10:00 am
Thursday, December 20: 10:00 am and noon
Friday. December 21: 10:00 am and 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 22: 2:00 pm and 4 pm
Sunday, December 23: 2:00 pm and 4 pm

SteppingStone Theatre's productions are professionally created and produced, with talents drawn from the best in the Twin Cities and throughout the U.S. The young actors are rigorously trained, but remain fresh and vibrant, bringing their joy and sense of fun to all SteppingStone Theatre's productions. Enjoyed by all ages, adults as well as children, SteppingStone Theatre's productions are affordable, high-quality entertainment.

All performances are in SteppingStone Theatre¹s new home, a beautifully renovated 100-year-old architectural gem located at 55 Victoria Street North, one block north of Summit Avenue in the Historic Hill District of St. Paul. Performances are appropriate for all ages. SteppingStone Theatre is fully-accessible to persons with disabilities, and has regularly-scheduled ASL & Audio Described performances. Interpreters can be scheduled for other performances at no additional cost upon request.

Performance dates, times, prices and tickets are available at (651) 225-9265 or www.steppingstonetheatre.org.

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