Revels Finds a Home For 2019

  • La Diable, played by Sharon Comeau, of White River Junction, left, dances through a frozen scene of revelry around Gaston, played by Will Giblin, of Bradford, middle, and soloist Lynn Mahoney-Rowan, of Brattleboro, right, during a technical rehearsal of the Christmas Revels at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, N.H. Sunday, December 11, 2016. Performances for the production begin Thursday, December 15 and run through Sunday, December 18. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Christmas Revels will celebrate the 2019 winter solstice just down Route 120 from the only home the holiday pageant has known since it started at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium in 1976.

“We’re going to be at the Lebanon Opera House next year,” Revels North executive director Brian Cook said on Wednesday. “We’re excited. It could be a terrific fit for us. The opera house seats 800 people and Spaulding has 900, which certainly contributed to this decision.”

While consulting with opera house executive director Joe Clifford, a former chief of marketing and public relations for the Hop, Revels North learned that the Lebanon theater is available the weekend of Dec. 21 and 22, 2019. Revels expects to stage two shows on each of those dates, and possibly more on the Friday before and the Monday after.

“It’s a perfect match from a mission standpoint,” Clifford said on Wednesday. “The Lebanon Opera House is a community arts hub, and Revels fits that description. The only question was that we’re usually booked solid in December. Lebanon High’s Wet Paint Players do their fall musical and then Lebanon City Ballet is in here right after that for Clara’s Dream. Just with those two, timing the turnover is a challenge. The question is, ‘How do we get all this to work?’ ”

Revels North had been looking for a new venue since last spring, when officials of Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center announced that it would be renovating the complex, including Spaulding, during the school’s Thanksgiving-to-New-Year’s winter break in December 2019.

Now that the home for next year’s Revels is settled, with the potential for a return in 2020 if 2019 goes smoothly, Cook is urging Upper Valley residents to attend this year’s six shows at Spaulding, on the theme of “A Venetian Celebration of the Winter Solstice.”

“I’ve heard from some people that some of the public thinks there may not be a show at the Hop,” Cook said. “The answer is, ‘Yes, you can see Christmas Revels one more time at the Hop!’ Everybody who saw it at the Cambridge (Mass.) Revels last year thought it was funny. It has a comic storyline that will make if feel different from past shows. Humor runs through the whole thing. I think everybody could use a good laugh right now.”

Revels North stages six performances of the Christmas Revels from Dec. 13 to 16 in Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium. For tickets ($8 to $46 on the 13th, $11 to $48 all other shows) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.