"Michael (Sommers) originally wanted to call the pageant A Gift for Lucifer. I felt like we would be pushing the envelope a little too far, so we landed on the generic The Holiday Pageant," says Susan Haas, who with her husband Sommers runs the theater.
That Sommers would go that route is no surprise as the puppeteer's work often sports a unique aesthetic. The holiday show traces its history back decades to the 1980s. "We did a 20-minute version of the nativity in our home," Haas says.
When the company formed in 2000, a formal holiday show was constructed, which went on to play at the Southern Theater, the Franklin Arts Works, and for several years as one-night-stands at Theatre de la Juene Lune and later at the Pantages Theatre.
After moving to their own space in south Minneapolis, the creators decided to revisit the holiday program. Last year, they unveiled the new work, Lucifer and all. "We wanted to have a version of the pageant and bring it home, in essence, back to the living room where it started."
The cast features both Sommers and Haas, their children, and plenty of community support, including a community choir performing the music of Victor Zupanc. There are even post-show cookies and cider. It also marks your last chance to see this particular show.
"We are about to open the 10th year of The Holiday Pageant, after which it will be tucked away with no plans at this time to produce it again in the theater. Michael is performing Lucifer for the last time," Haas says.
The Holiday Pageant runs through December 23.