By Andrea Michelbach
This year, The Christmas Revels® show takes on a Nordic theme, highlighting communities for which the “shortest day” is a long, long, cold night. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled from Dec. 19 through 23 in Tacoma, WA.
Over the centuries, the peoples of the far north have marshaled their forces against the winter with traditions around food, stories, humor, color, music, dance—and hope.
The heart of this year’s production is the mysterious Finnish creation myth, the Kalevala. It brings us the earth, moon, sun, stars, and the first man, Vainamoinen, who heroically—and hilariously—rescues the sun and moon from mean-spirited Louhi.
Music ranges from a powerful brass and choral arrangement of Puer Nobis (taken from the Piæ Cantionesa, a collection of Latin and Swedish songs first published in 1582) to an ancient men’s carol from Iceland.
Also part of the celebration are swirling dances, colorful folk costumes, a hilarious mummers play, Three Billy Goats Gruff and more. It all takes place in a stunning folk art forest designed by brilliant set designer Martin Christoffel.
Joining the Revels adult and children’s choruses onstage are Bill Boyd, Leslie Foley, and Jane and Jeff Anderson variously playing hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, accordion and fiddle. Puget Sound Revels’ own Lord of the Dance, Mark O’Kelly, will be kantele-playing Vainamoinen. B.J. Douglas once again directs the production with music director Megan Oberfield. Costume design is by Alex Lewington.
Each year, The Christmas Revels is a seasonal gift to the community of song, dance, and story. It is a great concoction of folk tradition and high art unique in its intentional blending of adults and children, amateurs and professionals, audience and players. Full of spirit, humor and beauty, it plays to sell-out audiences of all ages from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
2015 performance dates and times include:
– Dec. 19 at 2pm
– Dec. 19 at 7:30pm
– Dec. 20 at 1pm
– Dec. 20 at 5:30pm (ASL interpreted)
– Dec. 22 at 7:30pm
– Dec. 23 at 2pm
All performances are at the Rialto Theater (310 S 9th St, Tacoma, WA) in downtown Tacoma. Tickets range from $12-$34 and can be purchased from the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts by calling 253-591-5894 or visiting www.broadwaycenter.org.