Pageant pleases naughty and nice

Catherine Kruse Evergreen Reporter

“Shazam!” called the Angel of the Lord. “Unto thee a child is born and his name is Jesus! Go see Jesus! Go on! Shoo!”

Hearing these words, one would think that Pullman Civic Theatre put on some sort of Nativity Story parody.

In fact, the play within a play is titled “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The show tells the story of a group of Sunday school kids preparing for their Christmas pageant when their director ends up with a broken leg.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” featured performance regulars and new kids. The actors hail from all over Pullman and Moscow, from WSU students to Lincoln Middle School Drama Club.

Dasha Coey, a student at Lincoln Middle School, plays Gladys Herdman, one of two girls in the Herdman bunch. Coey described her character as fast, wild and rambunctious, if a little violent at times. Gladys Herdman is energetic and hyper, which doesn’t go over well when she’s playing the peaceful and quiet Angel of the Lord.

“I’m energetic myself, so I’m basically Gladys Herdman in real life,” Coey said.

The Herdman kids in the play are endearing despite being wild, tough and loud. Charlie Bradley, played by Dylan Meithof, declared, “Stay away from them and go to church!” The line earned audience-wide laughs.

The show also includes narration by Beth Bradley and some slight alterations to the original Nativity story, such as when the three wise men bring ground cinnamon, vegetable oil, and a whole ham as their gifts for the baby Jesus doll.

Pullman Civic Theatre started more than 50 years ago and was supported by recently-deceased Ruth Vanderwall. The Christmas show this year was dedicated to Ruth and her husband, Dean. About eight years ago, the group acquired an official theater and puts on four shows a year.

For those who missed the performances this past weekend, Pullman Civic Theatre will put on “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” from Dec. 12 – 15, with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday and a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the door for evening shows and $12 for matinees.