Christmas Revels

The weather outside is frightful. A crisp 7 degrees here in Moline when I got up, but a quick phone call with my baby warmed up the morning.

The winter solstice is approaching. In celebration of the shortest day of the year, there is reveling at the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland this week. The Revels is an organization devoted to creating community through celebration. This year (their 24th) they are celebrating Christmas Revels with an homage to the 19th Century Bavarian yuletide tradition. The show runs through the weekend. Tickets are surprisingly inexpensive. And the theatre space is not to be missed.

I won’t make it in time — I don’t arrive in California till after the solstice — but in reading about the Revels I discovered some fun connections. First, I had the opportunity to perform at the Scottish Rite Temple a couple of decades ago. I was singing in a production of The Student Prince, and we were invited to give a performance in their theatre in the summer of 1975. My second connection to the Revels is through the artistic director of the company, David Parr. David and I worked together for Western Onion Singing Telegram Company in San Francisco back in the late 1970s. We’ve not kept in touch, but when I get to Oakland I plan to hunt him down.

If you go to the Revels, be sure to stop in for a drink afterwards at the Lake Chalet restaurant across the street. Their bar is about a mile long and stretches out in front of a big picture window looking over Lake Merritt.

Wednesday December 16, 2009 — Mark —