Youngsters Play Hollywood Spirituals in A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant

By Ernio Hernandez
October 15, 2004

Following sold-out Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway runs last winter, the Obie Award-honored musical A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant opens in Los Angeles, Oct. 15.

The work, featuring a cast of 8 to 12-year-olds, was presented by downtown company Les Freres Corbusier in New York. The Los Angeles run will be co-produced with and at the Powerhouse Theatre for an engagement through Nov. 21.

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant is a self-proclaimed "bizarre new holiday classic part avant-garde performance art, part children's theater based on the actual principles of Scientology and the seriously unbelievable life story of founder L. Ron Hubbard."

"We're excited to take this production to the very center of the Church of Scientology Los Angeles. Since the whole goal of the show is to imagine how the Scientologists might stage a nativity pageant, there's no better place to try than in their Jerusalem," stated Timbers in a release.

The musical, featuring a book, music and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow, based on a concept by director Alex Timbers, has the children actors portraying the religion's top advocates such as Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley and John Travolta.

The cast of Pageant features Kristopher Barnett, Jamie Dahlke, Katie Ellis, Nikki Haddad, Jessica Haddad, Chigoziri Ikeme, Kyle Kaplan, Molly Elizabeth Matzke, Anthony Quinonez and Mario Quinonez.

The design team includes David Evans Morris (set), Juliet Chia (lighting) and Jennifer Rogien (costumes).

Kurt Deutsch's Sh-K-Boom Records who have recorded Broadway's Amour and Off-Broadway's Debbie Does Dallas and The Last Five Years will release a cast album on Nov. 2. The recording will be available prior to its release on the Sh-K-Boom website (www.sh-k-boom.com) and at performances of the Los Angeles production.

Tickets to A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant at the Powerhouse Theatre, 3116 Second Street (between Rose Ave. and Marine St.) in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, visit www.lesfreres.org. or www.powerhousetheatre.com.