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BWW Review: BNS Productions Present BLACK NAVITY


Black Nativity was presented at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth Playhouse.

BWW Review: BNS Productions Present BLACK NAVITY

Tis The Season To Be Jolly! And what better way to express merriment than in the presentation of an adaptation on Langston Hughes, Black Nativity. This past Sunday night, BNS Productions presented their version of Black Nativity, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth Playhouse. For those who are not familiar with the storyline, it is the account of what is often described as "The Christmas story", the birth of The Messiah presented with an Afrocentric flair. This particular adaptation also included a modern-day depiction of a family in conflict who had many "skeletons" in their closets.

We (Black Folks) certainly have our own unique way of celebrating our cultural...dressed in afrocentric costumes, uplifting dance facilitated with African drum beats, and of course, a lot of singing, especially gospel singing. We call it "taking-it-to-church". Sometimes, I had to choose which art form to focus on whether the singing, dancing, drumming or storytelling because there were so many moving pieces on stage at the same.

The starry-night scenic design set the perfect backdrop for the "no-room-in-the-inn" scene of the birth of the Christ child, especially when Joseph entered with his pregnant wife. This was the acting debut of the founder/producer of BNS Productions, Rory Sheriff, who portrayed the role of Joseph, Jesus' father. Congratulations!

The singing was definitely the highlight of this spectacular musical. The talented vocalist, Nikki Dunn started the singing off with the Whitney Houston's version of Joy To The World, accompanied by the booming voices of the melodious chorus of voices backing her up. Eric Godwin's rendition of Alpha and Omega started a "praise party" in the audience...I heard many "Hallelujahs" and expressions of gratitude.

The modern-day adaptation began with Tim Bradley, (whom I presume was everyone's favorite "uncle") gathering the children in a circle for story-time to give a detailed depiction of the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. The adjourning storyline of his family life had as many moving pieces as the art form did. I believe the adaptation was the work of the director, Jermaine Nakia Lee. This family, as many do, shared so much dysfunctionality, provoked by a sanctimonious, "overly-religious" sister who spewed out hate onto her sister and her children. The sisters seemed to have a love/hate relationship that seemed to be laced in jealousy. Initially, I struggled a bit trying to connect the dots of the storyline with the inspirational message of the beautifully presented account of Jesus' birth in the original Langston Hughes version of Black Nativity, but soon concluded that the message in this adaptation could be that no matter what challenges we will always prevail.

All-in-all, Black Nativity, started the holiday season with a festive festival of music and dance that focused of the fact that "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season"

For More Information on BNS Productions And Its Upcoming Performances, Visit Website:

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