The Christmas Revels in medieval Haddon Hall (aka Tacoma’s Rialto) is full of joy, marvelous music and spirits of the best kind.
It’s the 20th anniversary of the Puget Sound Revels, and so you’d expect a bigger production than most years. What you get, though, in this year’s Christmas Revels – set in 12th century England, and performed in Tacoma’s Rialto Theater – is a professional production that has the best music, most interesting plot and highest production values of any Revels in the last eight years.
Creating a professional-looking Revels isn’t easy. All but a few of the cast are amateurs who rehearse their folk-songs and dances after their day-job is over, and there’s a children’s chorus (16-strong this year), many of whom have never been on stage before. Sets are built by family members, costumes are sewn by friends. Even the paid musicians are sometimes a grab-bag.
But this year it all comes together with a resounding hurrah. Most successful of all is the plot, something the folk-tradition-based Revels doesn’t often come with, and this is spun out with engaging skill by five talented actors. Read more »