This year the evening performances of The Christmas Revels are over at about 10:15. After the show I hang around in the lobby to chat with any friends who were at that performance, then go upstairs to get out of costume, wash my face, and leave the theater.
Then I have two choices: Go home or go to Bertucci’s. Last Saturday night my choice was Bertucci’s. It’s an Italian restaurant in the lower level of a shopping mall near Lisner Auditorium. For several years, people from the cast, crew members, specialty performers, and friends have been retiring there after the evening performances to eat and drink. They do a great job of looking after us. They even keep the kitchen open late, bless them. (For the past few years, we’ve sung “Happy Birthday” to one of the waitresses – somebody had better remember that tonight or tomorrow.)
This is Revels, so singing is a big part of the event. We sing Revels standards, like “Let Union Be” and “Country Life.” Favorite songs from the shows find their way into the Bertucci’s repertoire; the American-themed Christmas Revels show from 2006 has a particularly large number of very singable songs. Some years the specialty performers lead us in song and dance. In 2008, the Quebecois dancer Pierre Chartrand called some fantastic dances.
Some nights a lot of people go; after a particularly long day (or before a particularly long day) more of us might make the other choice, to go home and get some rest. There’s a risk of messing up your voice or making yourself too tired for the next day’s performances. I don’t know if I’ll have enough energy for Bertucci’s either night this weekend.
This is Revels. I love performing, but our get-togethers at Bertucci’s really get to the essence of the experience: celebrating with your community in song and dance.