Pin It
Favorite

They Get SCROOGEd 

The Civic’s Best Christmas Pageant gets rated on the HCC Scale of Cuteness

click to enlarge Some are nice. Most are naughty. - TAMMY MARSHALL
  • Tammy Marshall
  • Some are nice. Most are naughty.

Ah, the Heartwarming Christmas Comedy. But how to evaluate a children’s-theater version of the HCC that’s filled with first-time-ever-onstage performers?

Is the Heartless Reviewer supposed to call out defenseless little kids by name and rake them over the Coals of Critical Insult? (Actually, that sounds kind of.... Oh, OK. Maybe next time.)

Fortunately, for appraisals of an HCC like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (at Spokane Civic Theatre through Dec. 20), the Society for the Cultivation of Recreational Originality and Outstanding Gleeful Entertainment has provided a series of 10-point rating scales.

Here are some evaluations in SCROOGE’s categories.

For example, in the category of “Cute Kids,” the Civic’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever scores... 8 out of 10.

An HCC requires oodles of cute kids, especially for a tale about merging the outcast Herdman family’s little brats into the community (basically, by tricking them into taking part in the annual Nativity show). Little boys tugging on Teacher’s dress, tiny girls in adorable frocks, the freckle-faced child praising church services because “there are no Herdmans there” ... you just wanna pinch their little cheeks.

Harried Parents (6 of 10) The iconic image of The Best Christmas is of Mom, in heels and ’50s-housewife dress, surrounded by dozens of scampering, cavorting, out-of-control kidlets. But the Civic’s gang could afford to let loose and be even wilder. Let’s see more screaming and eye-gouging, boys and girls!

Gossipy Housewives (7) Director Andrew Ware Lewis provides a couple of telephone-tree sequences, with the rolling-pin-andhair-curlers crowd chattering about the Herdmans’ high jinks. My word, what a scandal!

Idealized View of Juvenile Delinquency (9) What are those darn kids up to these days? Smoking in the bathroom and using words like “pregnant.” When told of the Herdmans’ antics, the Good Kids’ Dad furrows his brow, sticks his pipe in his mouth and sucks on it. (Just like Ward Cleaver.)

Sense of Entitlement (7) The Herdman brats intimidate the Nice Young Lady who usually plays Mary, Mother of God, into taking a sideline role. She strikes back by making snooty comments about the Herdmans’ lack of acting skill. Somebody isn’t learning the True Meaning of Christmas.

Improvisational Surprise (7) In live performance, kids do the darnedest things. During an everybody-in-the-background-freeze sequence, one young fellow kept fiddling with his belt.

And I’m pretty sure I saw an angel yawn.

But then BCPE is attuned to little ones’ attention spans: The whole thing’s over in less than an hour. The Herdmans learn their Bible lesson quickly, and we get to go home with our cardiac pumps all toasty.

Because you know what? That’s what HCCs are for.

  • Pin It

Speaking of Theater

  • The Bart of Storytelling
  • The Bart of Storytelling

    An eclectic dark comedy at Gonzaga draws on The Simpsons to reflect on the notion of stories
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Finding Solid Footing
  • Finding Solid Footing

    Local radio personality Molly Allen has written a new play about ending and mending relationships
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Spellbound
  • Spellbound

    The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has laughter, tears and audience participation
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • NEVER 
GONNA 
GIVE 
YOU UP
  • NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP

    Nostalgia for the '80s remains in hyperdrive. Why does the era's pop culture still resonate?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Remnants 
of Rome
  • Remnants of Rome

    Gonzaga's hit Ancient Roman exhibition is a look into the past and the capability of the university's museum
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY

    It's the final Spokane art stroll of the year
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Spokane Symphony Presents: The Nutcracker

Spokane Symphony Presents: The Nutcracker @ Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

Through Dec. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Michael Bowen

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation