We've heard the nativity story all of our lives. And while the tale is interesting--shepherds, wise men and a virgin birth in one story is pretty darn exciting to us--we have to admit that it can get repetitive. But the sameness of the story's telling doesn't negate the fact that it wouldn't be Christmas without it. And we do mean that literally. Langston Hughes, the famous poet and playwright, tells the classic story in a different way in Black Nativity. His 1960s play, which was first produced on Broadway and now performed nationwide in multiple theaters, churches and communities, includes poetry, dance and gospel music performed by an all-black cast. A choir sings hymns classic and new, while narration and vivacious dance numbers underscore dramatic moments of reverence and jubilation. While Hughes' interpretation stays very close to the original story, it helps us understand that long before Santa, Frosty or Rudolph, the nativity itself was a most joyous celebration. Black Nativity runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through December 20 at the Bishop Arts Theater Center, 215 S. Tyler St. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 214-948-0716 or visit tecotheater.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Dec. 11. Continues through Dec. 20, 2009