photo by Michael Brunk
From left to right, Mrs. Abramowitz (Eileen McCann), Mr. Abramowitz (Chris McDowell) and their daughter, Shirley (Lauren Abramowitz) listen to radio shows in 1935 Brooklyn while Grandma Shirley ( Vera Werre) watches her younger self, joined by her great granddaughter, Clara (Emily Dumaran) in "Coney Island Christmas." The holiday comedy, written by Donald Margulies and based on Grace Paley's short story "The Loudest Voice," performs at Burien Actors Theatre through Dec. 22.


The Christmas season is almost upon us. Christmas parties, caroling and holiday baking are among the celebrations we look forward to.

Another yearly treat Burien theatre-goers have come to expect is the Christmas show at Burien Actors Theatre. But, for anyone who has attended one of BAT’s holiday plays, you know not to expect anything from the usual line-up of Christmas dramas. There will be no “A Christmas Carol” or “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

No, BAT likes to observe Christmas their own way. This year, BAT is celebrating Christmas the Jewish way.

Written by Donald Marguiles, this is a humorous tale about Shirley Abramowitz, a Jewish girl who, much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation, is cast as Jesus in her school’s Christmas pageant in 1935.

In a scene from Burien Actor's Theater production of Coney Island Christmas, from left to right, Clara (Emily Dumaran) joins her great grandmother Shirley Abramowitz (Vera Werre), who watches her younger self (Lauren Scoville) hiding behind the pickle barrel as her mother, Mrs. Abramowitz, argues with teachers Miss Glace (Tamsyn Cunningham) and Mr. Hilton (Adam Hegg) about young Shirley playing Jesus in the school Christmas Pageant, while Shirley's father, Mr. Abramowitz looks on.

CONEY ISLAND CHRISTMAS runs through Dec. 22, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Sunday Dec. 1 is Seven Buck Sunday.

Burien Actors Theatre is located in the Burien Community Center at 14501 4th Ave. SW. For information and online ticketing, go to or call 206-242-5180.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.