There will be no shortage of holiday shows from local performing arts groups in the coming weeks. One of the most distinctive will be at Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe beginning Saturday.
“Black Nativity” is an inspirational gospel musical written by the great poet/playwright Langston Hughes, a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. It retells the biblical nativity story, and combines the narrative with music, dance and Hughes’ poetry. The result is an inspirational message of joy, hope, victory and liberation. But is also celebrates the joys and depicts the sorrows of the African-American experience. The music is a rousing blend of gospel, blues, spirituals and familiar Christmas music.
The show runs almost until Christmas, but you’d still be well advised to get your tickets early. WBTT staged “Black Nativity” two years ago and the run sold out. A lot of the people who saw it then will be eager to see it again, and people who didn’t get tickets last time will be trying to get them now.
Artistic director Nate Jacobs adapted and is directing the work, which premiered Off-Broadway in 1961.
It’s titled “Black Nativity” but it’s the kind of show that’s designed to appeal to audiences of any racial or ethnic background, and to adults as well as kids.
Details: Dec. 5-23, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $42 adult, $30 students and active military. 941-366-1505, westcoastblacktheatre.org.