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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical Rings in the Holidays at Casa Mañana

FORT WORTH, Texas (November 2, 2023) – Casa Mañana continues its Children’s Theatre season with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical, presented by Happy State Bank and sponsored by Frank Kent Cadillac. The show runs November 24 – December 23 and is suitable for all audiences. Tickets are on sale now. 
 
Based on the best-selling book and play by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is the story of the Herdmans, who are “the worst kids in the history of the world.” They lie, steal, and smoke smelly cigars. There used to be only one place you’d never see them — church. That all changes when the six Herdman kids show up at church in search of pizza and Hawaiian Punch and end up cast as the leads in the Christmas pageant, teaching the town the true meaning of the season.  

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is directed by BJ Cleveland, music directed by Matthew Stern and choreographed by Merrill West.

Tickets prices start at $19 and may be purchased by visiting www.casamanana.org. Tickets are also available at the Casa Mañana Theatre Box Office, 3101 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth. 

Meet the Creative Team

BJ Cleveland (director) has been working under the Dome for over 50 years. Since his beginnings as a Casa Mañana student, he has starred in and directed countless productions. Cleveland was the #1 kids show host on television known for “BJ and Lester” and “BJ and the Super Ones, and as host of Route 66 on the Discovery Channel. He has been awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, SPJST, DFW Critics Forum, and numerous acting awards by BroadwayWorld.com, Dallas Voice, FWST, and D Magazine. He recently originated the role of Chuck in the world premiere comedy Silver Foxes. 

Matthew Stern (music director) is an award-winning NYC-based music director and pianist.  Recent credits: Evita (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Sing Street, Merrily We Roll Along (Huntington Theater); Rock of Ages (Mountain Theatre Company); and Honk (Revival Theater Company). Stern has served on the faculties of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston University, and Emerson College, and spent over a decade music directing at French Woods Festival.  He has an MFA in Musical Theater Studies from Boston University. 

Merrill West (choreographer) is a dancer, teacher and choreographer who was based in NYC for 20 years. Her choreographic work at Casa Mañana includes Bat Boy, High School Musical, The Descendants, Shrek and more. She is currently faculty in the TCU Theatre Department and has taught master classes for CCM, NYU, Towson University, ACU, OCU and The Radio City Rockettes. As a performer, Merrill was one of the world-famous Radio City Rockettes for eight seasons and appeared on Broadway in the Tony Awardwinning revival of 42nd Street. Her regional theatre credits are numerous and include a Helen Hayes Award for her appearance in the ensemble of Hello Dolly! at Ford’s Theatre in DC.  She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from New York University and is a proud member of both AEA and SDC. 

Meet the Cast

Tiana Alexander*
BETTY

Cheryl Allison*
HELEN ARMSTRONG

Duke Anderson*
BOB BRADLEY

Charlie Bilbow
OLLIE HERDMAN

Ivy Bilbow
IVY REED

Patrick Bilbow
CHARLIE BRADLEY

J Dontray Davis*
REVEREND HOPKINS

Ellen Eberhardt*
CONNIE

Georgia Fender
ENSEMBLE

Alyssa Giles
ALICE WENDLEKEN

Isabella Green
GLADYS HERDMAN

Hunter Hall
LEROY HERDMAN

Tenley Heugatter
ALICE WENDLEKEN

Jude Lewis
IMOGENE HERDMAN

Andrew Nicolas
ENSEMBLE

Sarah Powell*
LUANNE

Gabriel Putnam
CLAUDE HERDMAN

Emerie Ryschon
GLADYS HERDMAN

Caleb Santos
RALPH HERDMAN

Maxton Sims
TEDDY SHOEMAKER

Cara Stathum Serber*
GRACE BRADLEY

Benjamin Tanner
ELMER HOPKINS

Hannah Ward
BEVERLY

Ruby Watson
BETH BRADLEY

Amrynn Wood
BEVERLY

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