Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Twill Be The Night.......

Dooley the dog is producing his annual Christmas Pageant Spectacular again this year. This is the third year. Actually it is the fourth year if you count his first attempt which ended abruptly when a fire broke out in the manger scene and audience members were forced to use their complimentary cups of hot chocolate to douse the flames, No one was hurt, but the pastor’s wife was understandably upset when her cat (which was playing the part of the baby Jesus) was returned to her with singed whiskers.

The Pageant is a ticketed event, the proceeds of which allegedly go to a charity called The Aging Dogs of American Indian Ancestory Rescue Fund.

  Dooley has granted me the honor of becoming a Silver Level Sponsor and in return for funding a portion of the event I get a discount on my ticket and my name is printed in the program. I don’t know why I am not a Gold or Platinum Level Sponsor because I suspect I am the only sponsor. Construction on the scenery and props for the show has been going on since October. So far I have received two bills from Harry’s Grocery/Feed and Seed/ Hardware store that include a case of spray snow, two 4x8 sheets of marine grade plywood and some Christmas themed gummy bears. I also got a bill from the town’s Community Hall for venue rental and 2 catered luncheons. Dooley claims this was for auditions and a planning session.

Originally this year’s theme was “A Merry Mayan Christmas”, loosely based on the Annual Christmas Eve celebration in the Mexican town of San Juan Chamula but, due to the whole calendar/ apocalypse thing and several negative comments from attendees at an impromptu November focus group, he has changed the theme to, “The Journey of Wenceslas, a dramatic exploration of the Good King.”  
 (KingWenceslas, of course, famous for the Christmas carol written by John Mason Neale in 1853 which tells the story of of the Good King braving the harsh winter to give alms to the poor on the Feast of St. Stephen.)

I told him I thought he was taking a risk artistically, basing the whole event on a single Christmas carol but Dooley says, from a historical standpoint, the full Wenceslas story had long been overlooked and needed to be told.
The bulk of Dooley's show is biographical but  becomes interactive when, at the end of the evening, the attendees will trek back to their cars, recreating the harsh Feast of Stephen event while singing the fabled song. Each will follow in the footsteps of the Good King (played by Dooley) as suggested in the lyrics and offer alms (dog biscuits) to poor peasants (Dooley’s friends) along the way.

It will, no doubt, be a night to remember.
      Good King Wenceslas Lyrics
  1. Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
    When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
    Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
    When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

  2. "Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
    Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?"
    "Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
    Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes' fountain."

  3. "Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
    You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither."
    Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
    Through the cold wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

  4. "Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
    Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer."
    "Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
    You shall find the winter's rage freeze your blood less coldly."

  5. In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
    Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
    Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
    You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.



langela said...

I hadn't heard from you in so long, I thought Dooley may have finally had enough of you being in charge of the dog treats and decided to take matters into his own paws.

I hope you have a great Christmas and holiday season! Has Dooley done any decorating around your cabin?

Granny Sue said...

Merry Christmas to you and Dooley, Roger!