Orange County's longest-running theatrical attraction, The Glory of Christmas, ends Dec. 30 at the Crystal Cathedral. Now in its 20th year, the annual pageant based on the nativity blends over two hundred performers, flying angels, symphonic music and spectacular stage effects. Live animals complete the cast with donkeys, sheep, goats and camels helping to lead the Wise Men on their momentous journey in search of the newborn King.
The person responsible for keeping the pageant fresh is producer-director Paul David Dunn, who has been involved with Glory since 1981. Classic Christmas carols and specially composed songs provide the backdrop for the production. Arranged by musical director Johnnie Carl, the score for Glory was recorded by both the London and Seattle Symphony orchestras.
The show's stage is one of the largest indoor sets in the world, spanning 124-feet across and 80-feet high, and its cast is drawn largely from the Crystal Cathedral's own congregation. Many volunteers have been involved with the production since it began, donating more than 40 hours of their time to the show each week of the holiday season. Professional actors, however, play the lead roles.
With its elaborate sets, lighting and sound effects, Glory has become one of southern California's most beloved Christmas attractions.