Kudos to the adults and children who recently presented "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the new Manatee Performing Arts Center. The play, a derivative of the same-named book, presents the Herdmans, an unruly bunch of siblings who commandeer the annual Christmas pageant in a small-town setting, much to the concern of those in charge.
Not only does it turn out OK, it exceeds the expectations of those involved all the while reliving the story of the birth of the Christ child. Loaded with feeling, the story and the actors edged me gently into the forthcoming holy day of Christmas.
It would have been perfect, though, if the financiers of the play had loosened up the purse strings and charged, say, $10 per adult and $5 per child for admission instead of $26 and $13. At those prices a family of four has to shell out $78 to enjoy the one-hour play -- a prohibitively high expense for many, especially at Christmastime.
I know the Manatee Players are intent on paying for their lovely new theater, but in this case, perhaps they could have made an exception.