logoIn the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players, December 2017

The Solstice is Coming! -- gather your greens, dance your dance, light your candles and "burn beseeching fires" in celebration of winter's beautiful offerings!

The Shortest Day 
by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us -- listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Interested in being a part of the Players 100th Anniversary? In a year and a half The Concord Players turn 100. What an amazing accomplishment, with much to celebrate! Would you like to be part of the planning of our centennial year? Please contact Paul Murphy at paulwmurphy

December 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Amahl and the Night Visitors, an inspiring one-act operetta about the Three Kings and a crippled shepherd boy by Gian Carlo Menotti. Orchestra and Opera51 chorus conducted by Alan Yost, with soloists Owen Reimold, Robin Farnsley, Stanley Wilson, Scott Ballantine, James Liu, and Brad Amidon. This is a special event to benefit 51 Walden. Tickets are $20 adults/$10 children. Call 978 369-7911 or buy on-line

January 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Concord Youth Theatre Cabaret: Lights, Camera Action. A fun-filled evening of song, skits and dance by high school and college students. Further information available at concordyouththeatre


The Feast of Fools, a popular festival during the Middle Ages, was held on or about January 1, particularly in France, in which a mock bishop or pope was elected, ecclesiastical ritual was parodied, and low and high officials changed places. Such festivals were probably a Christian adaptation of the pagan festivities of the Saturnalia. By the 13th century these feasts had become a burlesque of Christian morality and worship. In spite of repeated prohibitions and penalties imposed by the Council of Basel in 1431, the feasts did not die out entirely until the 16th century.

 New members of The Concord Players: Delores Carabillo and Sara and Stonewall Ballard.

The show is cast and rehearsals are underway for our Winter Show, You Can't Take it With You, by Kaufman and Hart, directed by Kathy Lague. The cast is a mix of old and new faces to Concord Players' audiences and all have been working hard on bringing this classic play to life. Performances are Feb. 9-24 and tickets are available now! Check the website for the full cast list and the link to the ticket information page. We hope to see you there!

 "Congregants, we gather here, in this vast symphony of stone, on the morning of the Feast of Fools. Our streets will soon be filled with those unsavory elements: criminals, foreigners, and gypsies, who have infested our city, and are on this one day free to roam without being subject to arrest..."
The sinister Don Claude Frollo makes his hateful pronouncement early in the story of Disney's stage play, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Frollo's self-lauding sanctimony is the club he wields to bludgeon ignorant, fearful congregants into false piety and learned prejudice. His methods are as old as time and as new as this morning's daybreak. 
   The stage play is based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel, Notre Dame de Paris and Disney's cartoon movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Its theme is one that the humanitarian Hugo espoused in many of his works: generosity toward the poor; human decency and fellowship, and respect for differences. These virtues are pitted against the malignant hate and bigotry that have plagued the human heart in an eternal conflict of good vs. evil.
   The story takes place in 14th-century Paris. Quasimodo is cruelly malformed with a hunchback and has lived his life in the dark bell tower of Notre Dame, where his only "friends" are the the gargoyles and statues, who talk to him. Smug Frollo is his reluctant guardian, and visits him in the tower, offering meager treats as rewards for the cripple's rote repetition of religious cautionary tales.
   Quasimodo's loneliness and poignant yearning to be "out there" among the people of Paris is expressed in a beautiful song of the same name. Finally, on the day of the Feast of Fools (see sidebar), he leaves the tower to join the "unsavory ... criminals, foreigners and gyspies" Frollo so reviles. Quasimodo fares poorly for a while during the celebration of the feast, but soon he meets and falls in love with Esmeralda, a kind gypsy woman of intoxicating beauty.
   Stories of redemption and retribution are told through the soaring songs of composer Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and many more) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Wicked), with a book by Peter Parnell that both breaks our hearts and pacifies our souls.
   The Players have cast an ensemble of superbly talented actors and singers who will flourish under the very talented Nancy Curran Willis's direction. Jen Condon will choreograph those frenzied gypsy dances, and Don Boronson will coax the most lyrical notes from the most celestial voices--not just from the cast, but from a bona fide chorus, who will sing like angels in the sanctuary of The Players' Notre Dame!
   Hunchback opens on the Players' stage April 27, 2018, and runs until May 12. 
   Auditions for that celestial choir will be held this Wednesday, December 13, at Tri-Con Church, 54 Walden Street, Concord, across from our theatre at 51 Walden.
   For more information about the show or auditions go to concord players
--Linda McConchie