Lords, ladies and yule: Mount Aloysius’ 47th annual Madrigal Christmas set for Dec. 2, 3

Courtesy photo / Dressed in medieval costume, Jonathan O'Harrow entertains at a previous Madrigal show at Mount Aloysius College.

Wenches, lords and ladies will be sure to entertain as Mount Aloysius College prepares for its annual Madrigal Christmas Feast on two separate evenings this year, Dec. 2 and 3.

In its 47th year, the Renaissance dinner theater event is so popular, organizers suggest getting tickets early as it usually sells out, said Sam Wagner, assistant director of communications at MAC.

“You can expect a dinner-theater environment with a five-course meal and tons of entertainment,” said Wagner, who also is playing the “last knight” in the show for his eighth year. “The actors are amazing and fall-out-of-your-seat funny. They are all local and give their time to support the event. The fact that some have been doing this for 20 to 30 years speaks to how special this event really is.”

The “memorable” evening includes the wench toss, the 12 Days of Madrigal and the fool’s play, he said.

The Mount Aloysius Vox Nova singers also will be featured, along with other musicians and singers from the community, Wagner said.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in festive Renaissance attire and participate in the revelry, he added. The show is not appropriate for younger children.

“Madrigal is all about community,” Wagner said. “People from all over come for the food, the laughs and the fun to kick off the Christmas season. It is always the official start of my Christmas season.”

The event began as a community dinner followed by a Christmas concert in 1971. It evolved through the years to include musicians, wandering minstrels, jugglers and dancers.

The MAC Madrigal is based on an old English tradition where, once a year, the lord and lady of the manor trade places with the peasants of the town and let the world turn “topsy turvy” for a day, according to the college’s program. The poor people had one of their own become the lord and lady for the day, and the true royals would serve them.

“We hope to transport our guests back to the Middle Ages while enjoying a delectable five-course meal, announced by fanfare and accompanied by song, with stories and festivities designed to delight,” it said.

The cast includes the lord and lady, Lorde Chamberlin, knights, wenches (who work as servers), the Madrigal choir and a brass quartet. Mount Aloysius students, alumni and community members comprise these groups and most all volunteer their time and talent.

Mirror Staff Writer Cherie Hicks is at 949-7030.


If you go

What: 47th Annual Madrigal Christmas Feast

Where: Bertschi Center and Technology Commons, Mount Aloysius College, Cresson

When: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2; 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3

Admission: $42 per person, $35 for senior citizens (62 and older)

Tickets/More info: (814) 886-6396, www.MtAloy.edu/Madrigal/