Tickets for the 26th annual Madrigal Dinner are now on sale. This event, held on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14 is put on by the Grand Rapids High School A Cappella and Jazz Choirs. The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. and the performance beginning at 7 p.m. There is a change of venue with this years’ performance being held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Tickets are $35 and are available at the Reif Center box office or on their website. Seating will be somewhat limited this year, so get your tickets early.
The evening includes a four-course meal, tableside entertainment, a one-act play, and a concert. The fun and frolic of an evening in a 16th Century castle are a bonus.
According to GRHS Choir Director Scott Shrimpton, work for this production began the first week of November. The students have to learn 9-15 songs, depending upon which choir they are in, rehearse the play, learn how to serve tables, check and repair costumes, props and the set and develop the table-side entertainers within the time of just over a month.
The dinner, which is celebrating its 26th year of performances, takes its name from a style of music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras.
It includes a four-course meal, the pageantry of an old English celebration, the court jester, beggars, a one-act play and a full concert, plus tableside entertainers during the various courses.
The annual Madrigal Dinner is an event which is, at its core, is student-centric, explained Shrimpton.
Not only does the event serve as a fundraiser for the choir, with the funds generally going to defray costs of choir tours, but all of the performing (both singing and acting), serving, costuming, promotion, and most of the set-up for the event are also completed by the students
While there are certain aspects of the Madrigal Dinner which are traditional, the play and the concert are always different.
As always, the choir will be joined by a number of band students who provide Christmas carols and fanfares for the production.
Tickets are available for $35 and must be purchased in advance at the Reif Center box office or online at reifcenter.org. Vegetarian meal substitutions are available if information is communicated to the Reif Center in person or by phone. Those in need of meal substitutions may also contact Shrimpton at the high school, 218-327-5760, ext. 41488.