Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Christmas Revels" Founder Dies

The AP is reporting [via boston.com] that John Langstaff, the founder of the Watertown-based Revels, has died following a stroke. Langstaff was 84. May he rest in peace.

I've never seen a performance, but I can't say I'm particularly interested in doing so. The "Christmas Revels" show is a misnomer: it is not a celebration of Christmas, but of the Winter Solstice. I can understand the attraction for some, but my heritage is Christian, and I celebrate Christmas (actually Advent) this time of year. I really don't have the attention, time or budget to spare on silly neopagan facsimiles of the real thing.

Now I don't mean to suggest that culture and art is a waste of time. This time of year, Boston is awash in cultural opportunities, including Christmas and Hanukkah concerts, carol sings, Dickens, the Nutcracker, and my personal favorite, Black Nativity.

There are certainly times when the season can seem overwhelming, when the retina builds up toxic concentrations of enzymes responding to the colors red and green, and you feel like a CRT monitor in need of a screensaver. But I can't imagine that someone whose appetite is fatigued of eggs for breakfast is really looking for EggBeaters. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.

In any event, it is impossible to deny the popularity of Christmas Revels in Boston and in other cities. Langstaff created a fixture in the local arts scene, and he will be missed.

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