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This Christmas Season, Why Not Revel?48:30
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With guest host Jacki Lyden.

A winter solstice celebration in song. The Revels arrive in our studio with carols from a Victorian Christmas.

A scene from the 2014 production of the Revels' Christmas Revels. At left is Sabrina Selma Mandell and at right is Mark Jester. (Roger Ide)
A scene from the 2014 production of the Revels' Christmas Revels. At left is Sabrina Selma Mandell and at right is Mark Jester. (Roger Ide)

Christmastime is here ---bring on the Revels!  A winter solstice celebration which channels the British Music Hall, slapstick English pantomime, the brass bands of Victorian carolers,  the colorful pageantry and pomp of the costumers, and the songs of tiny children, and the entire community.  It’s the 44th Season for the Christmas Revels in Cambridge, Mass. — and we’re bringing you in the studio. This hour On Point:  the Christmas Revels,  its history, — and you.
-- Jacki Lyden

Guests

Patrick "Paddy" Swanson, artistic director for the Revels of Cambridge, MA.

George Emlen, music director for the Revels of Cambridge, MA.

Megan Henderson, pianist for the Revels of Cambridge, MA.

David Coffin, artist-in-residence for the Revels of Cambridge, MA.

From The Reading List

Boston Globe: For 'Christmas Revels,' A Welcome Return To Victorian England — "Victorian London is such a natural setting for “The Christmas Revels” that it’s hard to believe Revels hasn’t used it since 1998. The current 'Victorian Celebration of the Winter Solstice' is in fact the sixth Victorian edition (including the excursion to Thomas Hardy’s Wessex in 2008), and it’s to Revels’ credit that every return visit seems fresh and new. This one, whose improbable highlight is a Cinderella panto, can take its place among the best 'Christmas Revels' in the production’s 44-year history."

Arts Fuse: Charming English Music Hall Edition — "That feeling of familiarity and community is central to the charm of the Revels, which has, for 44 years now, brought together professionals and volunteers – including a chorus of more than three dozen children and adults — for a theatrical event that encourages audience participation in the best possible sense. From singing rounds of “Row the Boat, Whittington” and 'Dona Nobis Pacem' to the collective dance out into the lobby to the tune of 'The Lord of the Dance,' The Christmas Revels offers a wonderful reminder of the communal spirit of the season."

BBC News: Queen Victoria popularised our Christmas traditions — "In the 1840s and 1850s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert popularised a new way of celebrating Christmas. An engraving of the Royal Family celebrating Christmas at Windsor was published in 1848 and their German traditions were adopted worldwide."

See The Revels In The On Point Studio

David Coffin and Megan Henderson of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)
David Coffin and Megan Henderson of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)
David Coffin and Megan Henderson of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)
David Coffin and Megan Henderson of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)
David Coffin, Megan Henderson and George Emlen of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)
David Coffin, Megan Henderson and George Emlen of the Revels in the On Point studio on December 24, 2014. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

This program aired on December 24, 2014.

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