Reagle's 'ChristmasTime' is a holiday favorite

David Brooks Andrews

Christmas traditions - the decorating of the tree, the sound of carols, the reading of the story of Jesus' birth, and finally the opening of presents on Christmas morning - make people of all ages feel like children again. They remind them of their first Christmases with traditions that they pass on to their children and grandchildren.

The Reagle Players clearly understands the power of Christmas traditions to unite family members of all generations as they stage their 27th annual Christmas production, in recent years titled "It's ChristmasTime."

Featuring some 200 performers - approximately half adults and half children - the show occasionally incorporates a new number, like the recent addition of carols played on hand bells. But most of the numbers have been part of the show for years and have developed the power of tradition, drawing many families back year after year. The adult choir filing down the aisles with their electric candles. The wooden soldiers toppling backward in perfect precision. The guest soloist - this year Sarah Pfisterer - singing "Mary's Boy Child" with its calypso beat. And Buddy Bergeron as ventriloquist with Kermit the Frog singing about his Christmas wish for peace.

These adult performances typically receive a rousing response. But nothing pleases the audience as much as seeing the children on stage. The Santas-in-Training racing through a chimney and then playing their glockenspiels. The dance of the Raggedy Anns and Andys that ends with flipping over large wooden blocks to spell "Merry Christmas." Schools Girls who dance when they are supposed to be perfectly still. And the youngest children, the Elves in their pajamas and Santa's hats, singing with all of their hearts.

The children say they love performing in the show, and many of them make it a tradition of their own.

"It's ChristmasTime"

Dec. 4-13

Reagle Players, 617 Lexington St., Waltham

Tickets: $32 to $54, $25 for children 5-18

Info: 781-891-5600, www.reagleplayers.com