Rediscover the true meaning of Christmas with comedic performance
From Dec. 8 to Dec. 10, Alberta theatre group Whizzgiggling Productions presents a comedic retelling of Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. In a “Newfie” fashion, The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever tells the same heartwarming story bringing the community together to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.
Director Cheryl Jameson, who worked in Newfoundland for several years, first saw the show in 2002 and wanted to bring a piece of home to Newfoundlanders living in Alberta who couldn’t return for Christmas.
Now in its eighth year, the show is performing in nine locations across Alberta after auditioning for booking agents. “We’re having a great time. The show puts everyone in the Christmas spirit and hits them in the heart,” said Jameson.
Jameson recalls a woman who told the cast that the show put the Christmas spirit back in her and made her want to celebrate again. “It’s a real feel-good show with a ton of laughs and a good story for everyone to see.”
Jameson said that if someone hasn’t heard the Christmas story, it could sound crazy. “From the perspective of the kids, the idea of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes is strange,” said Jameson. “The play is about rediscovering the Christmas story through the eyes of children who are underprivileged and don’t know anything beyond the Christmas hamper. ”
Jameson said that in Edmonton they have audiences who are not typical theatregoers. “People are coming to enjoy it – there’s no judgement – they have open hearts and are ready to enjoy it.”
Actor Jake Tkaczyk said that out of all the shows he’s performed in, he’s never heard an audience laugh so much in a piece of theatre. “It’s just laugh after laugh after laugh.”
“When we were in Consort, there was a moment where I thought – they hate this – then something shifted,” said Tkaczyk. “You could feel the whole room lighten up and have a good time.”
The show is part of the new Cabaret Series, which is in a more intimate setting with adult geared content and alcohol service. Nick Beach, general manager, and Tanya Pattullo, patron services manager, both encourage students to come to shows such as the Newfoundland Pageant.
“One of the reasons we started the Cabaret Series was because we wanted to have a beer in our hands while watching comedy,” said Pattullo. “From the student perspective, the Cabaret Series is a bit of a different atmosphere and it’s really popular,” said Beach.