Tag Archives: venetian celebration

2018 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘Nordic Celebration’, Dec. 20 Was Mellow & Soothing.

by Anura Guruge

It was good. That goes without saying. It would be impossible, a violation of the laws of physics for Cambridge Revels not to be good. There were parts of it that were very good. It, however, unlike some past performances, e.g., last year’s ‘Venetian‘, the 2016 ‘Acadian‘, 2015 ‘Welsh‘, or the ‘Mediterranean’ from a few years back, was not brilliant. But, that is OK. You can only truly appreciate the brilliant ones if you have some ‘average’ ones to measure them up against.

Here are the words that I would use to describe the 2018 Cambridge Revels: languid, gentle, relaxed, colorful …

My 12-year old, a veteran of at least 10 Revels (if not more given that we used to see 2 Revels a year for 3 – 4 years), said outright that it was boring! That was harsh. Overall, as a family, we all agreed that it was ‘OK’ but not great.

It was your quintessential curate’s egg. It was good — very good — in parts.

One way to best describe it is to say that it wasn’t as boisterous as I would have liked. It was not jolly enough! I am sure that part of that has to do with the subject matter — the Nordics. {Smile}. Very nice people and I have spent a lot of quality time in Sweden. But, I think that they too might agree that they are somewhat reserved.

That actually might be THE word — RESERVED.

I realized, halfway through Act 1 that this was very soothing. Given that my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus gives me continuous heart rate I checked my pulse. 56 bpm! That is very relaxed. When watching TV it is around 60. So, this was even more relaxing and soothing than TV! {Smile}

There was one act, #30, ‘Tremannsdans Frå Telemark‘ (a walking dance by three very talented ladies), that was WORLD CLASS. A sword dance without swords.

Act #2 (maybe it was #3, but it was at the start) was also brilliant and promised much. The ‘Christmas Night Elves’, act #33, was ultra-cute.

Of course, the set pieces, Dona Nobis Pacem, Lord of the Dance, Horn Dance, Sword Dance & Sussex Mummer’s Carol were excellent. As my 12-year old commented, “the best parts were the ones that we did!”

The Mummer’s Play was good. Very good.

I am not sure why some of the reviews I read, prior to the show, claimed that this was one of the best. All I can assume is that, unlike I (who has been to upwards of 25 Revels), they are new to this.

We had great seats. Front row, centre balcony. Doesn’t get better than that. The lady who conducted the opening of Act Two, sung by a chorus up on the balcony, stood next to I. That was special. As it transpired we were also the FIRST to enter the theatre. That too was special. Seeing the theatre totally empty.

Anywho, I am already looking forward to the 2019 Revels in Cambridge.

Welcome Yule — and today is Yule.

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by Anura Guruge


Cambridge 2017 Christmas Revels — ‘Venetian Celebration’ — The ‘Thank You’ Video.

by Anura Guruge

A MUST watch video.

It will warm the cockles of your heart.

On Vimeo rather than YouTube.

Click image to access video.

Sumptuously produced video — WOW, WOW, WOW. Amazing quality and detail.

Magnificently captures the flavor, colors, energy & spirit of what was a MESMERIZING performance. It is just like being there and made me very nostalgic. Wonderful show — just like last year’s and the year before. Now I can’t wait until December 2018.

This is great. They did this, i.e., a ‘Thank You’ video, last year too.

Happy New Year.

This will help you keep warm.

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by Anura Guruge

2017 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘Venetian Celebration’, Dec. 8 Was Just Bravissimo.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE. The Sanders Theatre foyer during intermission — following the “Lord of the Dance”.

Click to ENLARGE.

I acceded to their vehement entreaty NOT to take pictures within the hall
— even before/after the show.

It was sumptuous. Exquisitely produced and brilliantly performed. Takes your breath away. They, i.e., Cambridge Revels, do such an amazing job. Our 4th Christmas Revels at Cambridge — three in a row, and probably close to my 20th Revels (if not more).

I will confess to having been a bit apprehensive. I tend to prefer, overwhelmingly, British-themed Revels. So, I was worried that the Venetian setting might ‘miss the mark’. Worse still I had ordered the CD — supposedly of ‘the show’ — beforehand and had listened to it (in the van). The CD does a huge injustice to the show. The show is a thousand times better.

Creative and humorous story line. Varied music. Great costume. Some unusual period instruments.

I knew that the “Lord of the Dance” would be there. That is so much a part of Revels. It was and there is NOTHING like dancing it, with the cast, in the foyer of the splendid Sanders Theatre.

To be relief and delight all of the other traditional sets were also present — another very clever sword dance, Morris Dance, Horn Dance, “Donna Nobis Pacem” & the “Sussex Mummer’s Carol”.

I can continue to rave, BUT I am sure you got the drift.

It was beyond good. I feel so lucky and privileged. If it wasn’t such a hike, I would go again.

Highly, highly recommended. Go if you get even half a chance. You will have a blast and come away feeling rejuvenated.

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by Anura Guruge

Tickets For Cambridge Christmas Revels 2017: “Venetian Celebration” — Now On Sale.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to take you to the Box Office.

Tickets to the General Public went on sale at 12:00 noon, today, i.e., Friday, October 20, 2017.

I was logged in at 11:57am and waiting. Clicked through straight at 12:00.

Got the same 4 center balcony seats, on the aisle, as I have for the last 2 years. Good seats. Exactly the ones I wanted. So, I am happy. {Smile}

Happy Yule.

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by Anura Guruge