‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ is coming to Qualicum Beach.
No editorializing here – that’s the name of the play, adapted from a book of the same title published in the early 1970s.
The comedy focuses around the production of the original Christmas story, featuring a cast of zany siblings that bring mayhem to the play-within-a-play.
The Qualicum Beach production is a family affair in more than one way, featuring not just one but two parent-child duos.
Gerry Jaeffs plays Bob Bradley, the father of the story’s Herdman family.
He shares a stage with not just one but two of his own children, Keana and Tysen.
Jaeffs has acted with his kids before, in previous ECHO Players productions Dick Whittington and Peter Pan. In fact, they’re the reason he got involved in theatre in the first place.
Now that he’s a fixture on the stage, Jaeffs finds himself really enjoying it.
“You really challenge yourself. You’re stepping outside of your comfort zone, and getting on stage in front of a crowd of people. And wanting to do your very very best to entertain, and not flop,” Jaeffs said with a laugh.
“But that’s not a fear thing – it’s an anxious challenge thing. So it’s fun to be part of that.”
Dena Lane has a similar story.
Her daughter, Alyssa, had been asking for years to be part of the theatre after seeing a production of the Christmas Story.
Lane took her to audition in last year’s Peter Pan and ended up as part of the cast, too.
“It’s great. It’s pretty special to have that thing in common, that bond… While we’re driving, I do my lines, and she does everyone else’s lines. Without the script, she just has it all memorized!” said Lane.
“So it’s great, we can work on it together.”
The show runs from Dec. 12 to Dec. 29, at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach.
Jaeffs says that with classic carols and lots of youthful energy, it’s a great way to infuse some holiday cheer into your life.
“I think the audience will get some laughs out of it for sure. There’s a really nice softness to it near the end where kind of things come around, and end up warm-heart and feeling good and all of that. People should leave the theatre being entertained for sure, in a variety of ways. There’s some comedy, there’s some emotion,” said Jaeffs.
For more information, visit www.echoplayers.ca.