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WHS Madrigal dinner lights the holiday glow Dec. 1

WORTHINGTON — Hear ye, hear ye: All “Lordes” and “Ladyes” of the realm are hereby summoned to Phileo’s Restaurant on Saturday, Dec. 1, for a biennial event that’s not to be missed.

Returning for the 2018 holidays is the Worthington High School (WHS) Madrigal Dinner, a humor- and music-filled occasion with a history of delighting audiences.

“It’s festive, fun and filling — in more ways than one,” assured Kerry Johnson, WHS choral director and coordinator of the student-performed madrigal.

On Dec. 1, two opportunities — first at 12:30 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. — exist for people to experience the charms of a fully catered meal served by teens bedecked in medieval-themed attire, complemented by seasonal a cappella songs and a side-splitting skit with a cast of six.

“We always aim to entertain and get people laughing,” promised Johnson.

Although in recent years the madrigal dinner has switched to a biennial schedule, it’s been a popular local December attraction for families of involved students and members of the broader community since the inaugural WHS event in 2005.

“For anyone who hasn’t seen a madrigal before, it includes all kinds of slapstick comedy,” explained Johnson. “We welcome and encourage audience participation and guffaws because the skit content, which has plenty of double entendres and jokes, is intended to be silly.”

This year’s skit, titled “To Play or Replay, That is Out of the Question,” revolves around a wandering theater troupe trying to produce plays — long before instant replay options were created, naturally.

“And they only know how to do one production, so they’re rather limited,” said Johnson.

WHS junior Matthew Bartley is cast as the court jester, while the two pages are junior Abby Turner and freshman Austin Barber. Rounding out the skit players are three freshmen: Eli Hansberger, Christina Rivera and Law Htoo.

“There will be about 45 choral students serving the meal, plus three trumpeters [Casey Michelson, Mike Martinez and Ethan Hyvari] and two dozen singers,” listed Johnson.

The madrigal’s primary music vehicle is the 24-voice Trojan Express, a select mixed ensemble comprised of mostly WHS upperclassmen.

“Everyone is dressed in medieval style, and the court royalty adds to the delightful atmosphere,” said Johnson, mentioning that seniors Davis Moore and Sarah Spieker are the king and queen, respectively.

Songs included throughout the madrigal include “In Silent Night,” “The Boar’s Head Carol,” “Wassail,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Alleluia Madrigal,” “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” “Fum, Fum, Fum,” “Here We Come A Caroling” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

“There’s some neat music the students look forward to digging into, and some of the songs have become real favorites of theirs,” said Johnson.

“They enjoy performing it, and audiences always enjoy hearing it; it really helps bring on the holiday spirit.”

The WHS Madrigal Dinner has two showings (12:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 1, both at Phileo’s, 212 10th St., Worthington. Reservations are required and will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 26. For reservations, phone 376-6121 and ask for Kerry Johnson or send an email to Kerry.johnson@isd518.net. A full, served meal (a pork entrée, dinner salad, roll, vegetable, side dish, dessert, wassail, coffee and water) is included in ticket price.

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