The two events I recommend here are among the most joyous presentations of the season, and are just as, if not more effective in virtual form! One marks its 5oth ANNIVERSARY this year, that medieval pageant celebrating the winter solstice known as THE CHRISTMAS REVELS. The second has been a classic on page, stage, and screen since Charles Dickens wrote it in 1843. This is among the most beautiful, touching, vividly performed and just plain theatrically wondrous versions ever of A CHRISTMAS CAROL!
That’s Tony Award Winner Jefferson Mays as Ebenezer Scrooge as well as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, not to mention Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley and every last one of these characters, more than 50 including the narrator! Mays holds the entire cast within the magical grasp of his capacious talent, and conjures a frightful and transformative ghost story. From the first candle burning in the dark to the sets emerging out of thin air in a silvery light and floating on a soundscape of Sufjan Stevens music, this production directed by 2x Tony nominee Michael Arden is utterly enchanting. The tale slowly turns time around until it unlocks Ebenezer’s rusty heart and brings him back to his best self. This is virtual theater at its best, a feast for body and soul, making the most of Dickens’ sumptuous prose and sentiments: there is hope for all of the “scrooges” among and within us, “fellow passengers to the grave,” all worthy of love and compassion. Never did we need to believe in the possibility for things to get better in this “great old world,” than now. SEE THIS and make your heart laugh. Co-presented by Huntington Theatre Company!
Then DO NOT MISS THE CHRISTMAS REVELS— now marking a half century of pageantry which has wrapped itself around the stage of Harvard’s Sanders Theatre since Revels founder John Langstaff’s first Christmas Revels in 1971. This year we can’t gather together in person to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the beginning of the next one, BUT the revels team has culled its archives and virtually wrapped itself around the globe with 50 years worth of highlights, music, stories, songs, and dances from all over the world, Celtic to Baltic, India to Roma, Northland to Mexico and beyond!
It all comes to life beginning with the statues of James Otis and Josiah Quincy who’ve seen it all. They are enacted by beloved local acting star couple Paula Plum and Richard Snee who guide us through the merriment, including precious archival footage of Christmas Revels past topped off by Yo Yo Ma cello-ing a round of Dona Nobis Pacem with chorus zoomed in. Sweeping shots of the audience on their feet stand in for all of us as a ghost light hovers in the wings and echoes of revels past, present, and yes, future remain fully ensconced whether we’re physically there or not. The spirit of the season carries the day in this glorious pastiche of life and right good fun. STREAMING NOW THROUGH MIDNIGHT DEC 31! GET TICKETS HERE!