Tag Archive | Revels North

2020 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA) Traditional ‘Thank You’ Video — To Help Us Look Forward To 2021.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE & read.


YouTube video.


I have already openly lamented, multiple times, that NOT going to ‘Christmas Revels‘, in Cambridge, was the WORST COVID-related DEPRIVATION I suffered in 2020! Think about it. Not going to restaurants, not going to Acadia, not going to Boston — missing ‘Revels’. Moreover, as my 14-year old daughter, another HUGE ‘Revels’ fan (who has been to at least 11 Revels) will attest, I was worrying about it getting cancelled way back in March! That was how early I was thinking about Christmas ‘Revels’ — & that from a man notorious for refusing to plan too far ahead. We, i.e., she & I, had even agreed that we would go to the LAST show — going to last shows something we like doing.

So, getting this video was a consolation.

Needless to say, it is VERY GOOD. Brilliant. Nice to see some familiar faces & hear some voices we know so well.

A BIT put out to see folks seated in MY SEAT in the balcony! That is supposed to be where I am. SMILE.

Watch. Enjoy. Plan for December 2021.


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by Anura Guruge


 

‘Revels North’ VIRTUAL Christmas 2020 Video Is Now Available On Vimeo.

by Anura Guruge



Click here to view FREE trailer on Vimeo.


Click here to RENT/BUY video on Vimeo.


NOT going to Christmas Revels this year (viz. 2020) has been the BIGGEST impact COVID-19 has had on my life!

I was worried that this would come to pass in May 2020 — & ALAS it did.

I checked it out. IT IS GOOD. Well worth the money to rent or even BUY.

We have to SUPPORT Revels. We need them back, LIVE, in 2021.

So, come on. Be a sport. It is Christmas.

It will cheer you UP. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Revels North’, To Their Credit, Stands In Solidarity With #BlackLivesMatter.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


This came as an e-mail from ‘Revels North‘ (New Hampshire & Vermont) this morning.

I was impressed, pleased & proud. Good on them. Bravo. Thanks.

Last week ‘Revels’ (Cambridge) proclaimed their support by sending out a musical video of children singing for peace.

This is why I am such a BIG fan & booster of ‘Revels’. Their heart is always in the right place & they know exactly what note to strike.

Thank YOU.

#BlackLivesMatter.


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by Anura Guruge

2019 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘American Experience’ — The ‘Thank You’ Video From The Gang.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the 3:28-minute video at Vimeo.


Click to ENLARGE. Sent by e-mail to us patrons. SMILE.



This year end ‘Thank You’ video (at Vimeo) is now becoming another Revels (Cambridge) tradition. A nice touch. A welcome year-end reminder, when the days are truly dark and damp, for those of us who were fortunate enough to attend a performance, as to the ever uplifting gaiety of a Revels. For those, alas, who could not attend, it gives you a quick glimpse of what Revels was all about.

We attended the December 19th show. The sixth, seventh or eighth  Revels we have attended at Cambridge. Overall, I have been to about 20 between Revels North & Cambridge.

2019 Revels, by definition, was good. They are all good. That goes without saying. It wasn’t the best. The backdrop was the 1930s Dust Bowl and as such it wasn’t as gay as if it was set in a Stately Home in Europe. SMILE. But, it was OK and that is what counts. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Already looking forward to 2020 Revels in Cambridge.

Enjoy this ‘Thank You’ video. It captures what it is all about.

Happy New Year 2020.


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by Anura Guruge


 

‘Revels North’ (Lebanon, NH) Christmas Revels Is This Weekend, December 21 — 23, 2019.

by Anura Guruge



Click image to access their Website.


I got hooked on ‘Revels‘, over 20-years ago, THANKS to ‘Revels North‘ (those days (actually until quite recently) at the HOP @ Dartmouth). We used to make a pilgrimage to Dartmouth, every December, to see ‘Revels’. Towards the end I started making a point of getting us front row seats. Became a tradition. Enjoying ‘Revels North’ from the front row. Saw some INCREDIBLE shows with them. Thank YOU ‘Revels North’.

We enjoyed ‘Revels’ so much that I started looking around for other shows and discovered the ‘mothership’ — ‘Revels’ in Cambridge. We started going to BOTH. That was a blast.

Going to Cambridge is quite a trip for us, especially in mid-December, in the dark, with all the rush-hour traffic. So, during the last few years we decided that one 90+ minute trip (oneway), just ahead of Christmas, for ‘Revels’, was enough. So, I have to confess, we sacrificed ‘Revels North’ and started going exclusively to Cambridge. I feel bad and guilty. ‘Revels North’ is a GREAT outfit.

Their shows are this coming weekend. We, however, are going to Cambridge, this week. Have front row — balcony seats.

But, I wanted you to know about ‘Revels North’. Check them out. You will enjoy their show and find it very rewarding.


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by Anura Guruge

2018 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘Nordic Celebration’ — The ‘Thank You’ Video From The Gang.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the ‘Thank You’ video at vimeo.com. It is safe. Promise.




This year end ‘Thank You’ video (at Vimeo) is now becoming another Revels (Cambridge) tradition. A nice touch. A fond year-end reminder, when the days are truly dark and damp, for those of us who were fortunate enough to attend a performance, as to the ever uplifting gaiety of a Revels. For those, alas, who could not attend, it gives you a quick glimpse of what Revels was all about.

We attended the December 20 show. The fourth or fifth Revels we have attended at Cambridge. Overall, I have been to about 20 between Revels North & Cambridge.

2018 Revels, by definition, was good. It wasn’t the best nor was it brilliant. But, it was still good and that is what counts.

Enjoy this ‘Thank You’ video. It captures what it is all about.

Happy New Year 2019.


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by Anura Guruge


 

People With Interesting Names: “Erica Houskeeper” of “HappyVermont.com”

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. An e-mail from “Revels North”.


Click to access her Website “HappyVermont.com”.


I first saw it, in a flash, on an e-mail I got from “Revels North” (first image above). I read it, subconsciously, with the ‘e’ inserted and thought “Wow, what an interesting name“.

I saved the e-mail because I wanted to research the name. When I went back I discovered that there was NO ‘e’ BUT it sure looks and sounds like it did. I am not sure how they pronounce it.

I, of course, Googled it. Much to my surprise and chagrin I couldn’t find what it means or where it came from — though I will confess I did not spend much time.

I, however, discovered that Erica is not alone and it could be a married name. There is an actor with that name — on IMDb.com.

I think it is German but I could be wrong. German for that duty is haushälterin.

I am going to send her this link and ask her whether she can help me with her name. I think it is neat. I like it.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Revels North’ Kids Program On ‘Silk Road’ A Welcome Opportunity In The Northeast.

by Anura Guruge


RevelsNorthSilkRoad

Click to access the ‘Revels North’ Webpage for this program, with dates etc.


I was taken back and delighted when I saw this, in the form of an e-mail, this morning. Kids in the Northeast, particularly in NH, could do with ALL the EXPOSURE they can to the wide world beyond the borders of their state (or in some cases their town). This is why I am such a big advocate of the Laconia ‘Multicultural Day‘.

Learning about the ‘Silk Road‘ could sure inspire kids to explore their wonderlust. The ‘Silk Road’ has it all: adventure, history, culture, art, music, romance. Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart of the ‘Silk Road’ — other than the fact that the ‘Silk Road’ also traversed through Ceylon, by birthplace. In 1983 when UNESCO started its grand ‘Silk Road’ program, my adoptive father, by then a 15 year old and Director-level official with UNESCO, was part of the team. As it happened the Ceylon (by then Sri Lanka) part of the UNESCO kick-off was scheduled for August 1983. I happened to be in Sri Lanka at the time. So given that my adoptive father and mother were also there, from Paris, as was the Director General (who I had met many times in Paris), we attended many of the events. Somewhere in this house there is also a lavishly produced UNESCO book, published in 1983, for the ‘Silk Road’. So ..

This GRAND. I am happy. Bravo.


UNESCOsilkroad

UNESCO ‘Silk Road’ Home page with the ‘Sri Lanka’ flag highlighted. Click to access.


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by Anura Guruge

Revels North (Dartmouth) — Christmas 2015, A ‘Scottish Bash’ — Was Certainly A Bash.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 
Christmas Revels North, 2015: Songbook & Program.
>> Christmas Revels North, 2015Scottish Highland Bash.
>> Christmas Revels 2014: RAVE.
>> Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth.
>> Christmas Revels 2012 at Dartmouth.

>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels: Fantabulous.
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Program.
>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels.

++++ Search for ‘Revels’ & ‘Cambridge’ for MANY other related posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

Dominique Dodge, the divine harpist and soloist.


♥ The Scottish dancing was top class, throughout. Bravo.

♥ The harpist, Dominique Dodge, was DIVINE.
[I, though a sucker for harp music have no plans, whatsoever, of going to heaven. Which is why I try and listen to as much good harp music on earth while I can. But I imagine that is there is a heaven and they do have harpist there, as is claimed, these harpists will sound like Dominique Dodge did last night. THANK YOU, Dominique.]

♥ ‘Tàladh Chrìosta’ performed in the second-half by Dominique Dodge, who also sang as a soloist, with the ‘Teens of Dingwall’ was goose-bump inducingly magical. WOW. Thank you.

♥ TheAuld Lang Syne‘, with the crossed-arms and synchronized swaying, was the BEST rendition I have seen in the U.S. in the last 30 years and it made me very happy (bar for a small but crucial flaw that was an unnecessary distraction). But, Thank you. That was very good.
[Those that are familiar with this blog that I start running ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ tutorials in December to get U.S. folks to do it properly with the crossed-arms. And IF you are wondering why, as I have talked about many times, I was a bona fide, invited ‘First Footer‘ at Hogmanay, in Greenock (Scotland), for a number of years and did my duty, gladly, in kissing hundreds of Scottish lasses, right after the ‘Auld’ to make sure their New Year would be blessed.]

The Ballad of Tam Linwas exquisitely done and I will confess that last night was the first time I fully appreciated all the nuances. Kudos.

♥ The huge wolf and eagle created for the final scene of The Ballad of Tam Linwas very impressive. Way to go.

♥ The two young ladies that lead the ‘Lord of the Dance, in Morris Dance outfits, go from strength to strength each year. Bravo.


Maureen Burford, Revel North’s Artistic Director taking her final bow at Dartmouth.

At the end of the show we were told that this was the last show of Maureen Burford, the Artistic Director.

She was leaving after 12 years with Revels North. That is a shame. We like her work and her style.

I now realized that bar the very first Revels, that I was at Dartmouth prior to 2001, all the other Revels that we have seen at Dartmouth, since 2003, have been Maureen Burford creations. Wow. We wish you all the best Maureen.

I got a chance to briefly speak with Maureen at the intermission BUT I had no idea that it was her last show.

And end of another era.


Of course it was good. They are all good, by definition. The Revels North ‘gang’ is so dedicated, talented and charismatic. We are always in awe and admiration of what they manage to pull off, each Christmas.

Glad we went. To me Christmas would not be complete with Christmas Revels, by Revels North, at Dartmouth.

Welcome Yule. Merry Yule.


Those that know me well might have detected by now that I am not as effusive in my praise for this performance as I normally tend to be. Yes, that is indeed true. There were three and half things that marred this show for me. I think, though I am not sure, that I would have been able to overlook (maybe not gladly) and one of these 3.5 faux pas, but the totality of all 3.5 was too much. So what were these 3.5 reasons that put a damper on this performance.

1. NO Programs!

They did NOT have any programs, at all, for this show. I was told, 4 times, that all the shows had been sold out, that they sold 1,000 tickets than ever before, and as such they ran out of programs for the last show.

I do NOT buy that. This is 2015 in Hanover, NH. This is the era of the “Internet of Everything”. All the tickets were sold electronically. They should have been on top of ticket sales on a second-by-second basis. They should have started printing more programs as they saw the tickets being sold. This was a VERY POOR SHOW.

I feel really bad for those attending Revels for the first time. Without a program they were truly robbed. Mugged.

I was not amused either. I like to read the program ahead of the show and get a road-map in my head. Then during the show I do follow each act on the program. This was not cricket. This was a VERY POOR SHOW. I was livid.

This is 2015 in Hanover, NH. The world class Spaulding Auditorium, in which the show was held, as the projection equipment for “Supertitling” — i.e., displaying the ‘program’ behind the stage in large font. We saw this to great effect in 2013 when the Dartmouth Handel Society did “St. Matthew Passion“. Yes, it would have been a lot of work but they could have at least Supertitled.

Plus this is Hanover, NH in 2015. Within a 1/4 mile radius of the Hop there had to be dozens of high-quality, commercial grade laser printers. They could have just printed the 10 pages of the Program per se and handed that out with an apology.

I found the lack of a program an AFFRONT. Revels North management saying “Let them eat cake”. That at the start of the show a cast member appeared on stage and tried to make light of this and then had the temerity to say that “we could go read it online when we got home” was INSULTING. I don’t want to read the program after the fact.

IF Revels North had any class they would send each and every person that attended last night’s performance a $15 refund along with a profound apology. And I blame the Revels North Board. IF they have any sense of shame they would, before Christmas, resign in bloc. This was very incompetent. This was unacceptable. Yes, I am annoyed. Yes, I was given a program at the end, BUT that was no consolation.

2. The Master of Ceremonies wore cheap black sneakers with HUGE rubber soles with his kilt!

That was very insulting too! There is a proper way to wear a kilt. A kilt is a NATIONAL DRESS. You do NOT take liberties with a National Dress. You do not disrespect THE KILT.

That he kept on appearing at the very edge of the stage in these frigging sneakers was beyond the bloody pale. Yes, after the show I made a point of taking a photo so that you can all appreciate my sense of outrage.

Click to ENLARGE.

OK. Maybe he had bad feet. But there is NOTHING better for bad feet than a good pair of leather brogues. There were others on stage well attired in their kilts and footwear. I am amazed that nobody told this guy that sneakers are not worn with a kilt.

I blame the MANAGEMENT for this. They should have not let this happen.

First the programs and then this. What was this. Affront the audience week?

3. One piper, who used Smallpipes most of the time.

This was, and IF you had a program you would see that, billed as a ‘Scottish Highland Celebration’. So how come we only got 2 minutes 20 seconds of Great Highland Bagpipes? The rest of the time it was bellows-powered, small pipes with the drone ‘muted’.

One piper. We had one piper, with proper Highland pipes, at our wedding and we never billed that as a Highland Celebration.

I expected that we would start proceedings with some full-blooded piping. We in New England have no shortage of good pipers. One piper with small pipes. That the Highland Pipes would have been too overpowering for an indoor event. This was Revels. Celebration. I give you, with PRIDE, the “Red Hot Chilli Pipers” with three pipers in full blast, at the ‘Capitol Center for the Arts’, in Concord, NH, in 2014. Now that was a BLAST.

To make it worse the smallpipes were not properly amplified. The first time they played, halfway through, they started sounding ‘funky’. Like somebody turned on some other instrument. In the second half, the first time they were used, the cord may have been loose, but it ‘pop’, ‘crackled’ and ‘hissed’. People noticed it. I looked around. Now if you had DRONES that would have drowned out all that interference.

4. The cute kids at the front, for the ‘Auld’, didn’t cross arms!

Well at the start I did say that the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ was done, by the adults to near perfection. But they had a dozen or so very cute kids right at the front who just held hands without them crossed. PLEASE, as a father of four, do NOT tell me that kids cannot cross their arms. The kids would have loved it. They just had to be told. You cross your arms. What gives.

After the show, as is our wont, we went across the road, to the pub, for dinner. And, of course, we talked about the show. We had taken a friend of Deanna’s. Her first Revels. NO PROGRAM. She is Scottish. She, without being asked, commented about the pipes!

Deanna noticed that there was no ‘Horn Dance’ and that is as Scottish as it can get.

Also seemed very short. When ‘Lord of the Dance’ came around we looked around at each other. Seemed it came rather fast. BUT without a program we had no idea where we were. The whole show, with the intermission, appeared to have been about 1 hour 40 minutes long. We were done well before 7pm (having started at 5pm). The Revels last week 2.5 hours long (with the 15 minute intermission).

On the way Deanna made this very telling comment: “Maybe next year we should just go to Cambridge.” Yikes! I hope not. Revels North is still OUR Revels.

Lets us see what they do to recompense for these faux pas.


Fabulous Cambridge 2015 Christmas Revels, The ‘Welsh Celebration’ — More Pictures.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Fantabulous.
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Program.
>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels.

>> Revels North 2015: Songbook & Program.
>>
Christmas Revels North, 2015Scottish Highland Bash.

>> Christmas Revels 2014: RAVE.
>> Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth.

++++ Search for ‘Revels’ & ‘Cambridge’ for MANY other related posts >>>>


MORE pictures of this FANTABULOUS show provided by Revels.

Photographs by (and copyright belonging to) Roger Ide.

Visit their Facebook page for EVEN more.

P.S., The shows post-Christmas are ALREADY sold out!

Click to ENLARGE.


revelswelshpics2456466
This, from the obligatory and brilliantly done “Mummer’s Play”, captures very high quality of the costumes and overall production.

This red Welsh dragon was a Masterpiece.

Not sure why the two poles for holding up the large arms had to be so long. Maybe it was for balance though I have to think that the physicists that can be readily found in Cambridge could have come up with a way to make the poles shorter. 

Great sequence.


revelswelshpics22

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