“The Herdman Kids Will Ruin the Christmas Pageant!”

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The Herdman children played by (not in order) Parker Holt, Eris Lewis, Wyatt Hillius, Jake Hafen, Filiberto Ontivero III and Zoa Rich are troublemakers who smoke, drink wine and cause plenty of trouble in the Mesquite Kids on Stage production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Mesquite Community Theatre December 18-20, 2014. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

Mesquite kids are real troublemakers or at least they played them quite well when the Mesquite Kids on Stage performed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Mesquite Community Theatre on December 18, 19 and 20.

In this show the Herdmans, are the worst kids in the school.  They cuss, they taunt, they smoke cigars and that’s not all.  These kids may just be the worst kids in history and the teacher has just cast them as the stars of the Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans have ever heard the Christmas story before. They have no idea what the birth of Jesus is all about and why it’s so important to everybody… but they’re about to find out the true meaning of Christmas which surprises everyone including the Hermans themselves.

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Fellow church members and students complain to the director of the Christmas Pageant that the Herdman Children will ruin their pageant this year during the Mesquite Kids on Stage’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Mesquite Community Theatre December 18-20. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

Like Pat Reber, Assistant Director, told the audience, “It takes a village to raise a child and it took a whole group of volunteers to raise this production.  This group worked very hard to bring this production to the Mesquite stage.”

In the case of The Mesquite Kids on Stage the whole group consisted of 27 crewmembers who worked to raise the walls of the set, the voices of the children and the bar on the production, the actors numbered 44 with Susan Bennett at the helm as the show’s director, Pat Reber as assistant director and associate directors Gail Ashdown, Gwen Olsen and Kenda Heath.

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The Herdman Children tell their version of the birth of Jesus during the Mesquite Kids on Stage’s Production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

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The Herdman Children (Parker Holt, Eris Lewis, Wyatt Hillius, Jake Hafen, Filiberto Ontivero lII and Zoa Rich) cause nothing but chaos and the director of the Church Christmas Pageant (Estelle Hafen) is beside herself but determined that she is going to make this the best Christmas pageant ever in the Mesquite Kids on Stage production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

Backstage things couldn’t have been in better hands than those of Patty Amore who knew the show forwards and backwards, having attended every rehearsal from the start as the show’s stage manager and with co-manager Phil Brittain, who is used to mayhem backstage having years of experience as the official Stage Manager for the Mesquite Toes.  Together they made a winning team.  Keeping things on track is no small feat when it comes to keeping that many adults organized on a small stage; it’s not hard to imagine the work and patience involved when it comes to that many small children.

It seems as if the Mesquite kids take to the stage like a fish takes to water and the older, more experienced MKOS helped a great deal in mentoring the younger kids.  Many of the children that appeared in this production also appeared in the same production in 2008.

Estelle Hafen played the bratty Imogene Herdman in the first original MKOS production; she played the mother in this show.  Many of the former “Baby Angels” in the 2008 production are even old enough now to have taken on adult roles such as Margaret Hafen, who played Mrs. Slocum and Jadaella Rich, who played Mrs. McCathy.  Other former baby angels were Kaitlynn Reber, Jaren Hafen and Zoa Rich.

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The Baby Angels: (Not in Order ) Alana Cortez, Elsie Marchant, Westion Hafen, Blake Heath, Juliyo Ontiveros, Mady Wright, Myka Rich, Juan Carlos Silva, McKenna Whipple, Kaden Holt, Kambria Jensen, Hollie Heath and Gavin Lewis led by Beth played by Ally Wright perform Christmas songs for the church members in the church’s Christmas pageant during the Mesquite Kids on Stage’s version of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

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Charlie (Kyler Worthen), Father (Mark Larsen), Beth (Ally Wright) and Mother (Estelle Hafen) are overjoyed that the Church’s Christmas Pageant was a success even with the Herdman children at the helm during the Mesquite Kids on Stage’s version of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Mesquite Community Theatre on December 18, 19 and 20. Photo by Teri Nehrenz.

These talented actors have all grown both in age and talent.  Mesquite kids shine when it comes to musical theatre and it doesn’t matter if you were hearing the well-delivered dialogue of the actors or the angelic voices of the soloists and choirs. When it comes to the Mesquite Kids on Stage, it couldn’t be anything but The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

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