note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Carl A. Rossi
Narrator (Principal): Voncile Ross; Hon. Milton L. Wright
Narrator: Danny Morris; Terri Taylor
Narration: Sele ‘Fana Kamau
Mary: Shaynah Barnes; Toni S. Jackson; Mercedes Neves; Desiree Springer-O’Neal
Joseph: Wyatt “Mo’gee” Jackson; Michael Shannon, MD; Bi-Kim
Voices of Black Persuasion and Children of Black Persuasion
Organ & Piano: John Andrew Ross; Pearl Allen; Stephen Hunter, Sr.
Electric Bass: John (Lennie) Bradford; Langston Smith; Tim Ingles; Thomas Hebb
African Percussion: Mamadou Ndiaye; Stephen P. O’Neal I; S Korliss O’Neal II; Herbert Maisonet, Jr.; Salim A. Rahman; Dares Ware
Langston Hughes’ BLACK NATIVITY has concluded its 34th season in Boston. I first attended a performance about seven years ago; many things in my life have changed since then but BLACK NATIVITY remains as fresh and joyous as ever.
Mr. Hughes’ gospel song-play is exactly that: a celebration of the Coming and Birth of Christ, done with a minimum of plot and a maximum of song: hand-clapping, soul-stirring song. To debate whether BLACK NATIVITY is a musical, a concert or a mass is moot; it will sweep you up in its loving embrace and leave you a round-eyed child learning the true meaning of Christmas --- spiritual, not material. I wouldn’t say this was the one show you had to see this holiday season, but it was certainly the best one on which to end your holiday theatergoing.