JWG (jwg) wrote,

Revels - nostalgia

Last night we went to The Christmas Revels in Sanders Theater in Cambridge. What a great show as usual. This one was 1930's American - usually a different theme each year, last year's was Nordic. The cast includes a number of groups - some constructed for this show, others who have their own existence. Being there brought to mind a lot of nostalgic thoughts. Lots of audience particpation in singing old Revels favorites or other well known things (the music and words were in the program and they turned on the house lights). The end of Act One involves singing Lord of the Dance and then the audience getting out of their seats and dancing their way into the lobby.

This is the 49th year of the Cambridge Revels. There are 18 performances this year and also in 8 other cities. When it first started there were only 3 or 5 and only in Cambridge.

Some of the nostalgia is related to the distant past. I was in an early music group called the Quadrivium (no longer in existence). In 1979 and one other year we were part of the Revels and once also performed in the Hanover, NH show. I remember that December - between the Cambridge and Hanover rehearsals and shows and the rehearsals and concerts of our own I think I had something just about every day for 3 weeks in December.

The Stage director and one of the script writers is Paddy Swanson. Paddy worked with the Quadrivium for a few concerts. And one weekend we all went up to the farm where he was custodian and did lots of music.

Since this was an early American theme there was lots of folk music incljding some very fine banjo playing. In 1959-1961 I was a counselor at a summer camp, Camp Killooleet, and there was lots of folk music there (the camp was run by John Seeger, Pete's brother). I bought a used banjo then and I still have it. It isn't in vey good shape and I can't really play it anymore, but...

Tags: personal, quadrivium, the arts, theatre, tradition

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