Newberry Consort | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Newberry Consort

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The Newberry Consort performs Christmas music but not a single standard Christmas carol. Led by Mary Springfels, whose knowledge of the early-music repertoire and performance practice is encyclopedic, the group will offer an assortment of medieval songs and dances that were used to celebrate the holiday--and to briefly obscure the harsh realities of life--in the 15th century. Many of the dances still snap, and the intervening centuries make all this music sound disarmingly new. Springfels, playing vielle and citole, will be joined by David Douglass on vielle and rebec and Mark Rimple on lute; Douglass and Rimple will also sing, along with Drew Minter, a pleasantly powerful countertenor. Fri 12/17, 8 PM, Grace Episcopal Church, 924 Lake, Oak Park, 312-255-3700, $14-$38. See also Sunday.

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