News Release – 2019 Christmas Revels

Washington Revels: Community. Tradition. Celebration!

The 2019 Christmas Revels Puts the Power of Community Celebration on Display

For Immediate Release

Silver Spring, MD, October 23, 2019 – Washington Revels will present the 37th annual production of The Christmas Revels in eight performances from December 7-15 at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in downtown Washington, DC.

The Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools” will transport audiences to a rustic European village nestled somewhere in the mists of time. As the winter days grow short, three wandering performers arrive from far-off lands, weaving music, dances, and stories from their cultures into an enchanting and dramatic tale of the Winter Solstice. But when the sun finally sets on the longest night — and darkness seems to stretch on without end — these “Celestial Fools” embark on a journey into the heavens to reclaim the light and restore its warmth to the world.

One of Washington Revels’ most beloved holiday shows, “Celestial Fools” is a winter fable that illustrates the influence of Middle Eastern and Asian cultures on Europe prior to the Renaissance. Last staged in 1999, the remount updates the production for a new millennium, featuring tradition bearers Karim Nagi (Arabic drumming & dance), Shizumi Shigeto Manale (Japanese dance & theater), and Mark Novak (Jewish song) as the titular trio. They are joined by renowned Klezmer and world music instrumentalists Seth Kibel (clarinet & flute), Vladimir Fridman (guitar), and Bob Abbott (string bass), who will enliven this exuberant blend of music, dance, and story from across the centuries and around the globe. Washington Revels’ cast of over 100, ages 9-90, knits the production together, living out the experience of the villagers as they welcome the three “Fools” with boisterous songs and dances from many cultures.

Washington Revels invites everyone to join the 10,000 theater-goers who come each year to celebrate with seasonal traditions like a mad-cap Twelve Days of Christmas, the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah, and a round for peace sung in Arabic and Hebrew, along with timeless Revels favorites: rousing carol sing-alongs and dancing in the aisles with the audience, children’s singing games, the iconic poem “The Shortest Day,” and the glorious tones of the Washington Revels Brass.

 Combining elements of a fully staged holiday play, a choral concert with sing-alongs, and centuries-old winter traditions, The Christmas Revels offers a trademark blend of professional entertainment and community engagement that reminds performers and audiences alike of the importance — and the joy — of shared celebration.

Founded in 1983, Washington Revels is a multi-generational performing arts community of professionals and nonprofessionals that presents traditional music, dance, storytelling, and drama in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. It produces after-school workshops, community participation events, and performances year round, including May Revels each Spring and The Christmas Revels each December.

The Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools”
8 Performances, December 7-15
Matinee & Evening Shows
GW Lisner Auditorium
730 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Press Contact: Ross Wixon, Marketing & Development Director / / (301) 830-4402

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