New Direction Brings Twists To Traditional Madrigal Dinners
The Madrigal Dinners that originated at Bemidji State University are set to take center stage once again. The play and musical dinner theater set in a renaissance castle is an area holiday tradition, with a few unique twists this year.
Opening night is just a few days away. The play actors and musical cast for the Madrigal Dinners came together for the first time over the weekend.
“It’s just a lot of fun to be able to be able to put a show together- see what it’s like at the start and then make it come to life,” said Derek Bebeau, a senior vocal music education major.
Some of the cast members need little practice, as they’ve been a part of the reoccurring performance for years. However, both the director and producer are new to the dinners.
“It’s been a great occasion to be a part of this. To be working on this and with the students and to engage in a community activity that’s been really a part of the community for so many years,” said Dwight Jilek, the producer for the madrigal portion of the show.
The show is part of the community and involves the community. Audience members participate in the “masque’s” antics through out. This year, the play portion is taking on the political atmosphere with a particular goal in mind.
“To ask our audience members to take a look at ourselves, enjoy our similarities and relish our differences,” said Season Ellison, the director for the masque, or play portion of the show.
In between the satirical play breaks, there will still be the customary yuletide songs with the court still set in the Elizabethan era. The queen will help merge the present with the past.
“She doesn’t know exactly what time period she’s in, so you’ll see in different spurts of the show she breaks character,” said Nikki Lee Nolden, a fifth year music performance major.
According to a press release, doors for the Dec. 1-3 performances will open at 6 p.m. with an opening processional beginning promptly at 7 p.m. The Dec. 4 closing performance begins at 5 p.m. with doors opening at 4:15 p.m. Guests are requested to be seated before the start of the show.
The dinners feature a new menu and shorter run time than previous years.
Tickets, which are $38 each, are available only through advanced sale and will not be sold at the doors. Tickets may be purchased online; at the Madrigal Dinners box office on M-W-F from 1 to 2 P-M, located in Bangsberg Hall room 223; or via postal mail. Orders can not be taken over the phone.
The Madrigal Dinners ticket office address is:
BSU Department of Music
1500 Birchmont Drive NE #16
Bemidji, MN 56601-2699