BWW Review: BLACK NATIVITY at Crossroads Theatre is Inspiring and Exhilarating
The Crossroads Theatre is now presenting Langston Hughes' Black Nativity through December 18th. This show is a real treasure, an exciting, yet moving piece of theatre that is ideal for a broad audience of theatergoers. Gather your friends and family and make plans to see it. Directed by Lee Truesdale and choreographed by Obediah Wright, the production features wonderful staging and a fantastic cast. Black Nativity was first performed Off-Broadway in 1961 and was one of the first plays by an African American to be staged there.
The show combines traditional Christmas songs, original gospel-style music, African dance, and a compelling narrative to retell the story of the Nativity. The all-black cast includes singers and dancers whose talents are captivating. While the first act focuses on the birth of baby Jesus, the second act is a celebration in dance and music.
The all-new production features gospel recording artist and actor Kenton Rogers, R & B recording artist, Tony Terry along with a multi-talented troupe that includes Lyric Danae, Ibn Day, Pamela Ellis, Mike Hammond, LaMichael Hendrix, Jamain Victor, Deven Steven Louis, Jameel McKanstry, Sharae Moultrie, Lawson Pinder, Jasmine Poole, Davina Porter, Tamira Sanders, Malik Squire, Angie Ward, Meka Ward and Neyoka Wells.
The musical score in Black Nativity is outstanding. It includes traditional favorites like "Joy to the World" and lively numbers like "Whatcha Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby." There are also affecting songs like "Trust in the Lord" and "Thank You." And the modern interpretive dance numbers that include "Most Done Traveling" and "Fix me Jesus are stunning.
The Creative Team has brought Black Nativity to life on the New Brunswick stage with scenic design by Patrice Davidson; lighting design by Sten Dearing; costume design by Pamela Ellis; projection design by Jarrid Denman; additional staging and direction by Obediah Wright. The Music Director is Anthony Bennett and the Creative Consultant is Marcus Dargan.
Black Nativity is so much more than a Christmas show. It is an inspiring, exhilarating theatrical experience that you will long remember. The Crossroads Theatre production is a holiday gift for metro area audiences.
Black Nativity is an ideal production to celebrate Crossroads Theatre's season's theme, "Celebrating a woman's gift." Upcoming shows include Beyond the Oak Trees by Kisha Bundridge, directed by the theatre's Producing Artistic Director, Marshall Jones III followed by Sarah Sings a Love Story by Stephanie Berry.
Black Nativity is produced in association with Denman-Turner Entertainment Group and Obediah Productions. The show runs for approximately 2 hours with one intermission. It will be on the Crossroads Theatre stage through Sunday, December 18th. The theatre is located at 7 Livingston Avenue in the heart of the city's arts and dining district. Convenient mass transit and parking options are available. For ticketing and more information, call 732.545.8100 or visit www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org.
Photo Credit: William M. Brown