Sea Revels 1999

The Sea Revels
A Celebration of the Sea


New! Scott Alarik's Boston Globe review
of the 1999 Sea Revels


New! Photos from the dress rehearsal!

Sea Revels returned to Boston with weekend performances celebrating the sea and the Georgia Sea Islands at the historic Emerson Majestic Theatre, April 30-May 2

Revels, Inc., producer of the annual Cambridge Christmas Revels, was pleased to present its second annual Boston springtime celebration at the Emerson Majestic Theatre: an all-new Sea Revels featuring 80+ singers, actors, musicians and dancers. British chanteyman and balladeer David Jones, lauded for his performance in last season's Victorian Christmas Revels, returned to the sea with us for this Revels springtime event. Joining him on our voyage were the 40-member Revels Chorus, musician and Revels favorite David Coffin, and Janice Allen, a powerful performer, respected educator and a specialist in the African traditions of the Georgia Sea Islands.

Directed by Patrick Swanson, Sea Revels explored the cultural effects of the trade cycle which brought rum and sugar from the Carribean to Boston, timber to England and slaves from Africa to the Georgia Sea Islands.

The cultural influences were many. A true tradition bearer, Janice Allen learned her extraordinary repertoire from the late Bessie Jones, to whom the Smithsonian awarded the title of "national treasure" for her many decades of teaching, performing, and keeping alive the vibrant music, dance and folk tales of the Georgia Sea Islands.

Sea Revels also featured; children's street games performed by the Dockside Children; athletic sword dancing from Veloci-rapper, a local teenage "rapper" sword team; a traditional "wooing" play (about the "press gangs" who roamed British coastal towns and villages looking for strong men to "press" into service), and the perennial harbinger of Spring, the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss, from the village of Cornwall. Audience members participated as well, joining the 'Obby 'Oss processional and singing songs and chanteys.

Production staff included:

George Emlen, Music Director
Peet Foster, Set Designer
David H. Rosenburg, Lighting Designer
Heidi Hermiller, Costume Designer
Ginny Morton, Production Manager

This program is supported, in part, by grants from the Boston Cultural Council, a municipal agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

For more information call 617-972-8300 x22

Sea Revels marked Revels' 2nd annual springtime celebration in the city of Boston.


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The Emerson Majestic Theatre is located at 219 Tremont Street in the Theatre District in downtown Boston, a minute's walk from the Boylston Street T stop on the Green Line. The theater is wheelchair accessible.

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Founded in 1971 by musician John Langstaff and his daughter Carol, Revels, Inc., a non-profit, charitable organization, is best-known for its annual winter solstice celebration, The The Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater in Cambridge and for performances of traditional and ritual material marking spring, summer and fall. Currently, ten companies across the country annually produce Revels seasonal/theatrical performances. Revels, Inc. also produces a line of seasonal recordings and songbooks under the banner of Revels Records, established in 1978. For a free catalogue call 617-972-8300 x31.


For more information:

Back Sheldon Brown's Unofficial Revels Index Page

1999 Christmas
Revels Around
the Country
Friends of
1998 Christmas
Backstage Revels
Sea Revels
Video Project
1998 Sea
a Revels
on the Radio
Artistic Fund

The Boston Globe

summer99 Since March 14, 1999

Updated Saturday, December 18, 1999

Thanks to The Wilderness Company for the oar image