WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

Taking Christmas Pageants To A Whole New Level

Play associated audio
Evangel Cathedral's "Christmas Celebration" production is a tradition that has been going on for more than 20 years.
Evangel Cathedral
Evangel Cathedral's "Christmas Celebration" production is a tradition that has been going on for more than 20 years.

In a theater larger than the most cavernous Broadway playhouse, Evangel Cathedral is presenting its annual Christmas play. The church, based in Upper Marlboro, Md., is one of the region's largest Black congregations. Over the past 21 years, the production has grown from a cast of 20, to more than 200.

It started off as a story about a family celebrating Christmas, says Pastor Peyton Gray. But now, he says, "it has grown from a church putting on a local play, to a national, full blown event."

The budget is reported in the high hundreds of thousands, a large slice of which goes to pay eight gospel singers, including Grammy winners BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, and Fred Hammond.

Another major cost is the barnyard of live animals--including three camels--that act in each performance. The animals are professionals, working the rest of the year on Hollywood films.

Tickets for the show cost between $65 and $85 a seat, though you can sit in the back for $65. Sounds like a lot for a church play, Pastor Gray acknowledges, "but you have to remember" he says, "there's a segment of people who want really good Christian entertainment." Plus, he adds, this isn't your average church play.

[Music: "Santa's Got a Bag of Soul" by Soul Saints Orchestra from In the Christmas Groove / "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Big Rhythm Band from A Swingin' Christmas]

MC: Evangel Cathedral's Christmas Celebration

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.