AUBURN, Mass. – Pakachoag Church was packed to the brim on Friday night as the Auburn Community Players presented their 2012 holiday play, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
“Wow. Getting sold out is incredible,” said Christine Taylor, the play’s director. “I think it means that we have something that people really want to see. It can be because they have their niece in it, or it’s because they heard about it through the publicity and wanted to see live theater in town.
“I don’t know exactly what their reasons are for coming, but I’m really grateful they’re here,” Taylor added. “To be performing for a sold-out crowd is incredible.”
Randy Bloom provided the musical direction for the play of 45 children and adults, mostly from Auburn.
Rehearsals for the show took place on Tuesdays and Sundays since October.
“This has been a tremendous amount of work,” Taylor said. “Having to learn all their stuff and hunting down their costumes and props, it’s a lot of work, especially in the last week when you’re pulling it all together.”
The one-hour, no intermission performance was described as a “hilarious Christmas tale”:
“The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
“None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale – the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating – has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.”
In addition to the Friday night performance, the 45-member cast had two performances scheduled Saturday.
Founded in October 2011 by Taylor, the Auburn Community Players’ debut performance was Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” With more than 30 Auburn residents ranging in age from 7 to 50, the group performed to two full houses. The group also performed at the inaugural season of the Pappas Recreation Complex “Concert in the Park” series.
Coming in February is "Sleeping Beauty," a production for young audiences.
For more information on the Auburn Community Players, contact Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-254-4834.