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7 December 2006

CAST Performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" Puts Children Center Stage

Because this show involves so many children — upwards of 30 — Dobbs, who always wears a stop watch to keep constant tabs on rehearsal length, must be even more diligent about not running over.

“I'm pretty good about sticking to the schedule,” Dobbs says while waiting for the play's programs to be printed. “But sometimes we're going to run long. That's just the way it goes with any performance.”

Not that there's been any real issue thus far.

With the show opening tonight, those endless hours of preparation, practice and crisis management are about to be rewarded, especially for the little ones stomping across the stage.

“The payoff is coming … I promise,” Dobbs says with a dry laugh.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about what happens when the annual church Christmas play is suddenly infiltrated by the six children of the dreaded Herdmans family who threaten to destroy this seasonal tradition.

But along the way something magical happens — both the town and the family learn the true meaning of Christmas.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is basically a story of whatever can go wrong will go wrong - repeatedly. And the children love every minute of it.

“They all thrive on the chaos of the show,” Dobbs says. “But they can't all go nuts at once. They need to learn to control that urge and do it on cue.”

And while the old showbiz cliché insists that there are no small roles, only small actors, when it comes to the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, in truth there are plenty of both. And that's part of the show's charm.

“We've got a lot going for us in this show,” Dobbs says. “We've got a great play, dozens of cute, hard-working kids and a strong season. The audience is going to be very entertained.”

While every child cannot feasibly have a starring - or even speaking - role, everyone literally has their role to play, Dobbs says. All are important in ensuring that the performance runs smoothly.

“I try to make sure that everyone has their moment, something they can call their own,” she says.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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