Mom Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a Play That Gets to the Heart of Christmas

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Are you looking for a festive way to spend a December weekend with your family in Greenville? I had the opportunity to take my daughter to see South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this weekend. After seeing it, I am delighted to share with Kidding Around readers why this play is a must-see this holiday season!

About The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The play is based on the children’s book of the same name by Barbara Robinson about a group of unruly kids who threaten to ruin the town’s annual Christmas pageant. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, a Christmas pageant is simply a Christmas play. In this case, it is a play within a play. The audience gets to see what happens before the pageant, the pageant rehearsals, and the final production itself.

The reason this story is so beloved is that it shares valuable lessons in a way kids understand. It is obvious to adults from the beginning that the Herdman kids do not have much – and that includes “home training.” They are rough, act tough, and are frequent rule breakers. They even bully their way into the lead roles in the church’s pageant which is a play about the first Christmas. In fact, they only end up at the church to partake in the free food. Meanwhile, the play also exposes the judgmental attitudes of the adults and other kids in the church.

The play has several funny moments that will make the audience laugh out loud – like when one poor shepherd acts like he passes out during the real pageant and must be dragged off the stage. In a simple way, the play shows the importance of not judging others and what Christmas is all about. It even made this mom shed a tear or two – especially when the Herdman kids bring the best of what they have to eat to give as a gift to baby Jesus.

What to Expect at SCCT

SCCT is a professional theatre that is intentional about encouraging creativity and imagination through their programs. With a show such as “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” you should expect a cast of professional actors – kids and adults. They will know their lines and act their parts.

In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the set is very simplistic. If you have been to a church children’s Christmas program, you will recognize the simple stage and manger scene. Likewise, the costumes are simple, but fitting for the play. For example, the pack of Herman kids look the part by wearing clothes that are torn or appear unclean, and their hair is not brushed. In contrast, the “good kids” are dressed in clean clothes and look nice and shiny.

What Ages Will Enjoy This Production

SCCT recommends this play for children four years old and up. I agree with them. I took my four-year old daughter, and there were a few things I know she missed. Elementary-aged children will understand more of what is going on – especially when they name the various troubling things the Herdman kids do. For example, my eight-year-old read the book, and he understood much more than his little sister. The play is 60 minutes. Your child will need to be old enough to sit and watch the show without getting up and moving around for this amount of time. Additionally, this is a play and not a musical, so your child will need to be able to follow dialogue without dance breaks or songs.

My Daughter’s Review

“The show was beautiful. I liked the story and when the firemen came on stage. I liked hearing them sing Christmas songs I knew.” – Savannah, four years old

When You Can See The  Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a production of SCCT. It is being performed at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre December 1 – 9, 2018. Tickets start at $19.

Jennifer Curry
About the Author
Jennifer relocated to Spartanburg seven years ago, and now spends her days working from home and taking care of her two kids. She loves this area because we can go from rural areas to urban areas to the mountains within an hour. Her favorite things to do with her kids are using their imaginations and visiting Spartanburg County local libraries. Follow Jennifer at

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5 years ago

was the acting good?