Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Family Affair

By Amanda Corazzi 

Every family has a holiday tradition, whether it is decorating the tree together or getting together at grandma’s for a special meal. For the Anagnostopoulos family, that tradition seems to be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Between Dino, his two children, and his brother, Teddy, they have been in four productions of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Three of those have been at First Stage. In this year’s production, Dino’s son, Teddy, is playing Blaine, one of the shepherds.
Dino (right) in the 1991 production as Ralph

“I played Ralph Herdman in the 1991 season,” said Dino. “My little brother, Teddy, who passed away in 2001, was Charlie Bradley in the 1990 production. So this is very special to our family that my son is in it 20 years later.”

This is the second year in a row that the holiday season has been spent going to rehearsals and performances. Last year, Dino, Teddy and Dino’s daughter were all in The Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa's run of Pageant. Dino played Bob Bradley, Teddy was Claude Herdman and Angelina was a Baby Angel.

Holiday shows are becoming quite the tradition for the Anagnostopoulos family and Dino is proud of his son for being in this year’s production.

“It is very cool to re-live my memories from First Stage through my son. Everything brings back memories,” said Dino. “All of the rehearsals that he has been to remind me of all of the hard work that it takes to put on a show, but it pays off in the end.”
Teddy (center in plaid) in this year's Pageant

This is Teddy’s first show at First Stage and he is loving being in a holiday show. Holiday productions at First Stage include lots of decorations backstage, Secret Santas and the always present holiday cheer. Teddy also loves working with all the cast and meeting all kinds of new friends.

Dino agrees with his son. “You meet some really great people. You work very hard with them every day and share the stage with them. It really becomes a second family.”

Angelina, Dino and Teddy together in
last year's production of Pageant 
This year’s production has a “totally 80s” twist to it which was very similar to the same time Dino performed in it. He applauses this year’s production on creating that “old time feel” and all the pop culture they include.

“Pageant is a story that has stood the test of time and it has become a Milwaukee tradition over the past two decades,” said Dino.  “Although the production has changed since 1991, the message remains the same: SHAZAM! Unto you a child is born!”


Pageant set in 1991

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