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Holiday play comes to Brooksville stage

Live Oak Theatre presents ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever'

BROOKSVILLE — It is the story about an ordinary church putting on an ordinary Christmas pageant. Every year it’s the same — same story, same carols and the same old Mary and Joseph.

But this year is different when Grace Bradley is put in charge of the pageant and the Herdmans show up. The six Herdman children are the town hellions. They terrorize and bully other kids. They lie, steal, use foul language, smoke cigars and destroy things. And they literally steal all the roles in this year’s Christmas pageant.

Live Oak Theatre will present The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a stage play adapted from the children’s book, Dec. 12-15 at Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts. It is a one-act comedy that includes a full cast of 40 adults and children performers. It promises to bring plenty of smiles and laughs, and possibly even a tear.

Natasha Berard as Imogene Herdman (left), whispers threats into Alice's ear, played by Maddie Bain (right), should she try to be Mary in the Christmas pageant. [ Kristina Mitten ]

The show is co-directed by Lindsay McTague and Katie Moore. Performances are mostly double-cast, with the starring role of Beth Bradley (the narrator and pageant director’s daughter) played by Amber Marino and Emma Day; Grace Bradley played by Genesis Berard and Sarah Krug. And the Herdmans (girls are double-cast) include: Natasha Berard and Leah Robitaille as Imogene, Levi Santerelli as Leroy, Jase Ivie as Ollie, Emily Mosher and Banjoe Valdes as Gladys, Elijah Torres as Ralph and Peder Olsen as Claude.

The Herdmans, who have never been to church or opened a Bible, hear the Christmas story for the first time, and are tasked with bringing it to life. The whole town is sure the pageant will be a disaster. But Mrs. Bradley is determined to make it the best Christmas pageant ever.

If you go:

What: Live Oak Theatre presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-15, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Dec. 14-15

Where: Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville

Cost: Tickets are $20 adults, $5 for ages 13 and younger (with paying adult); and includes dessert, coffee, tea and water.

Contact: For tickets, visit or call (352) 593-0027.