Opening, just in time for the holidays, "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" comes to CAST and Columbia Center for the Arts.
Based on the book by Barbara Robinson, the story revolves around the six Herdman children, "the worst kids in the history of the world," who are determined to be in the annual church Christmas play. The congregation of the church is initially horrified, but compassion and generosity prevail.
There will be eight performances -- Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and two matinees on Sunday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $8 for children 11 and under. For this holiday production, CAST also offers a $40 Family Pack 2 plus 2 Ticket that admits two adults, plus two students or two children.
Christmas Pageant's 40-member cast and crew include 20 children between the ages of five and 14. Communities on both sides of the Columbia River are represented in the production -- from Stevenson, White Salmon, and Husum in Washington to The Dalles, Mt. Hood, and Hood River in Oregon.
Veteran CAST and Plays for Non Profits director, Lynda Dallman, hopes audiences will find the play "funny and heartwarming, and enjoy its timeless message about how an unlikely group of kids learn the true meaning of Christmas."
Dallman said, "Our musical director, Bill Weiler, added a special touch to the production by writing us a beautiful, original song. The cast and crew sing this original song, along with traditional holiday carols, and members of the audience will be invited to sing along."
Opening night. Dec. 3, will be FISH food bank night with up to $2 off the ticket price with a donation of 2 or more cans of non-perishable food items.
Advanced tickets can be purchased at Collage of the Gorge in White Salmon, Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, at Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River, and online at www.columbiaarts.org. Family tickets are not available online.