I have to admit I didn’t know any history behind the Revels or that it’s a countrywide group until I read their (professionally done) program. If the performance I went to is even a minor glimpse of their bigger picture then clearly they are in the business of spreading cheer no matter the time of year.
Now, the first thing I want to get out of the way, knowing this could make or break it for some of you parental units from the get go, is that the Christmas Revels is a full 3 hours long. There’s an intermission of 20-ish minutes when you can grab snacks, use the loo, run in circles, and peruse some crafty items for sale, but if you have younger children with an earlier bedtime you may want to grab tickets to one of the afternoon showings rather than the evening options. I bring this up because I watched a family leave an hour before it was over, which is unfortunate for them because they missed some really funny parts. Now that I have that little tidbit out of the way, let me share with you how truly wonderful and diverse this holiday performance is.
The Christmas Revels has everything from hymnal style songs to knife dances to children’s only bits and so much more. The music and sound effects are performed by live musicians who were right on cue every step of the way. One of the main characters is a teen girl whose voice and mannerisms reminded me of Sam from iCarly. (That’s a compliment in my book.) The performers ranged widely in age with the youngest probably being in early elementary school. Every one of them looked like they were having a blast and sang like an angel. It was rather contagious.
I went with my daughter and her friend, two tween girls, who both enjoyed that it was such an interactive performance. Some of their favorite parts included the various dances with knives, sticks, antlers, and bells. Although truth be told, they ducked down when the performers came out in the audience seeking participation in a line of dancers. They also had a hard time following the Latin lyrics and afterwards told me that was their least favorite part. Overall though, they both said it was extremely fun and they would go again. I mentioned the hymnal style singing thinking they might not have enjoyed that but I was proven wrong. They liked the calmness it injected into the show. Like I said, it was quite diverse.
We ran into a friend during intermission who mentioned that she’s been to many of the Christmas Revels performances over the years and they usually start off slower during the first half and continue at a quicker pace during the second. She was right. There is a lot of laughter during the latter half of the production, making it feel as though it moves quicker. I’m sorely tempted to give a spoiler or two (or three) but will refrain. Let me just say this – if you are looking for memorable holiday entertainment, take your family and visitors to The Christmas Revels. But be quick because it’s probably going to sell out. If you do go, please come back here and share how you liked it in the comments. Happy Holidays!
Melissa and her familiy were given tickets to attend this performance on behalf of PDX Kids Calendar for review. She was in no way compensated for her opinions.