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Families tell fractured tale of baby Jesus in ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ at The Prizery / November 27, 2017
‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” opening Friday, at The Prizery, tells the story of the birth of the baby Jesus — though not quite like you’ve read in the Bible. Multiple members of eight families help to bring this stage comedy to life.

All four members of the Rush family are onstage for the production. Brian and Lena Rush are the mother and father of the Bradley family, with Lena being responsible for the church’s Christmas pageant. Brian doubles as a firefighter. McKenna plays Maxine, who is responsible for narrating the pageant, and her real life brother Mason plays a shepherd.

Three members of the Slagle family are also performing together. Lisa plays Mrs. McCarthy alongside Josh as Ollie Herdman and Dora as Shirley. “I am usually behind the scenes watching my children’s excitement and seeing their sense of pride, but now I get to be on stage experiencing it along with them. They encouraged me to audition, and I think they are proud of me too. This will be a great memory for us to share,” Lisa said.

Nicole Hendricks, playing Mrs. Slocum, joins her son Aaron who is Charley Bradley.

Also, brother and sister Luke and Isabella LaMonica play Leroy and Gladys Herdman alongside Josie and Gabe Cash playing Beverly and David.

Next up is a mother and daughter duo, Jennifer and Molly Nunn, who play Mrs. Armstrong and Alice Wendlesken. “My daughter and I enjoy volunteering for local theatre performances. This one activity that we discovered allowed us as a family to explore our creative nature. My daughter and I always kiss each other every night we perform and we say to one another every time, ‘Break a leg’ and smile at each other. We also have collected every performance programs. This all helped us create memories for a lifetime.”

Another mother and daughter duo, Lisa and Maggie Mae Burton, play Mrs. Clausing and Juanita.

Last but not least is the mother and son acting combination of Kelly and Ryan Crawford, playing Mrs. Clark and Ralph Herdman. Kelly also serves as stage manager for the production. “From the heart, acting has always been Ryan’s passion and it is special for me to share it with him on stage,” said Kelly. “To actually see the process the show goes through step by step has been a real learning experience and I have actually learned a lot from him. He gives me pointers on how to correctly stage manage.”

Please join the cast of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Friday, at 7:30 p.m. at The Prizery. Other shows are Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9 and 16 at 11 a.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. For tickets, call The Prizery at 572-8339 or order online at

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