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Madrigals preps for 23rd year of performing in newly renovated Baker Memorial Church

2020+graduates+Tatiana+Leon%2C+Chloe+Kraut%2C+Evan+Weidl+and+Hunter+Springer.+
Julie Zimmerman
2020 graduates Tatiana Leon, Chloe Kraut, Evan Weidl and Hunter Springer.
North graduate Ashleigh Cristy. (Julie Zimmerman)

One of North’s longest-running holiday traditions, the annual Madrigal Dinners, are set to take place next week from Dec. 7-9 in the newly renovated Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles. The performances take place at 6:30 p.m. each night in Baker Hall. 

The show’s first night on Thursday, Dec. 7 will be a mealless show, where the show will not serve their typical three course meals to attending guests, with tickets selling for the price of $15. Friday and Saturday’s shows will include the three course meal for a ticket price of $60. 

The Madrigal Dinner performances are considered “dinner theatre” where North students perform holiday music, skits and serve food to guests. These performances follow a specific storyline with students playing the roles of each character.

“The premise of the show is [that] it’s a royal family inviting the surrounding community to come and join them for a feast,” said Michael Molloy, head faculty advisor for the Madrigals performances. “[It’s] kind of like Medieval Times without the horses.”

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The show features students playing “the court,” a small choir of about 14 people who play royalty roles such as the King, Queen and the Jester. The auditions for these roles are held during the spring, and weekly rehearsals begin in August. 

Junior Maya Cassell plays the role of the Jester, a character she has portrayed since her freshman year. As the jester, Cassell takes on the responsibility of hosting the shows, where she introduces upcoming skits, performers and the parts of the three course meal served to guests. 

“I do a lot of talking,” said Cassell. “I’m like a little middleman.”

The show also features a cast of singers who serve a three course meal to guests during the performances. Alongside the singing cast members, there are band and orchestra members who play recorders and strings throughout the night. 

Due to the recent updates to the interior of the church, Baker Hall is now noticeably smaller post-renovation compared to its previous size, which presents some new obstacles for the performances. 

“This year is different because with the renovation, Baker Hall is 25% smaller than it used to be. So when we used to be able to sell tickets to get somewhere around 130 people into Baker Hall and watch the show, this year we can only do about 100 people watching,” said Molloy. 

Despite these minor obstacles, the building’s changes aren’t expected to be overly harmful to the process of the show, and may even have some potential upsides.

“It might make us feel a lot closer to the audience so we can play off of that. It’s probably gonna be easier for the servants [because] there’s gonna be less tables, less people they have to manage,” said Cassell. “I think it’d be fine. We’re pretty adaptable.”

Members of the show strongly encourage readers to attend these upcoming events for a charming, immersive experience. 

“The sound of the choirs and the strings and the recorders are beautiful sounds. It’s music of the holiday season, so it’s a great way to kind of get in the mood for your holiday season, and it’s a really nice meal,” said Molloy. “It’s a really great package.”For those interested in attending the Madrigals performances, tickets are now available on the SCN Friends of Music website.

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About the Contributor
Tess Arendt, Features Editor
Tess is a staff writer for the Stargazer. She is a Sophomore and serving as this year's Features Editor, this is her second year on staff. Tess engages in student journalism because she enjoys writing and keeping her peers informed.

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