The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 16, 1995

The Minnewaska Mask and Wig Club was created at a meeting in Rebecca Webb's home on October 24, 1995. Our first production was our own adaptation of THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER... tailored to the needs of our cast (lots of girls and precious few adults).

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood was our first home. Here the kids pose in the window of the church kitchen. From the left are: Rebecca Chapman, Andy Elwood, Clara Alessi, Faith Alessi, Grace Alessi, Carrie Bennett, Chris Bot, Lena Kramber, Amee Bennett, and Bethany Chapman.

Beth - Bethany Chapman
Charlie - Andy Elwood
Mother - Sharon Alessi
Aunt Cathy - Rebecca Webb

Alice - Faith Alessi
Maxine - Andrea Erickson
Hobie - Austin Erickson
Elmer - Chris Bot
David - Grace Alessi
Mrs. Armstrong - JoAnn Bot

Imogene - Lena Kramber
Ralph - Rebecca Chapman
Claudia - Carrie Bennett
Olivia - Amee Bennett
Gladys - Clara Alessi

THE BAD GUYS. So to speak. Clara, Amee, Carrie, Lena, and Rebecca (crossing gender lines to play Ralph, bless her heart).

THE GOOD GUYS. So to speak. Clockwise from the lower left corner are Beth, Chris, Andy, Faith, and Grace. JoAnn Bot as Mrs. Armstrong is in the middle.

NO HERDMANS! "What I like about Sunday School is, there are no Herdmans here." One of the best things about our production was the set... a wall covered with pictures drawn by the "Sunday School Kids" showing what they like about Sunday School. For Charlie's preference, we had a caricature of the five Herdman children (one of my prized posessions, drawn by Faith Alessi) with a negation circle over it. The moment when the five siblings confront the drawing just before delivering the lead performances in the pageant actually moved one audience member to tears. No small thing with Scandinavians.

We performed in the gym of Nordgaard Elementary School. Ah, low-budget theater. Flags, basketball hoops, cafeteria tables...

After the show, the audience enjoyed a visit from Santa. Eventually. Behold the Best Christmas Pageant Ever Impromptu Glee Club. "Is he here yet?" "One more time!" "Jingle bells, jingle bells..." Sadly enough, I learned later that the reason we had such trouble securing a Santa was, no one wanted to interact with the kids in the audience. Grown-ups don't seem to like kids much these days. Something to do with their conduct...