Classical Theatre of Harlem has reset Langston Hughes' work in Times Square in 1973. CTH founder and artistic director Alfred Preisser will direct the production with choreography by Tracy Jack. According to press notes, Black Nativity is "a Dickensian backdrop of seekers, lost souls, and hustlers, providing a colorful and extreme jump off for the exuberant African American music and dance which heightens the soulful story about the universal search for 'Peace on Earth.'" The midtown location for Black Nativity is a noteworthy venture, as it provides Classical Theatre of Harlem the chance to increase the company's visibility in the city's theatrical hub. It also offers audiences who might not otherwise venture to Harlem, the chance to experience the company's work during the busy holiday tourist season.
André De Shields was Tony nominated for his performances in Play On! and The Full Monty. On Broadway, De Shields originated the title role in The Wiz, and also appeared in the Broadway productions of Prymate, Ain't Misbehavin', Warp, Stardust, and André De Shield's Harlem Nocturne, for which he handled all creative duties. De Shields has also choreographed two of Bette Midler's Broadway engagements.
Black Nativity will run Nov. 30–Dec. 30 at the Duke on 42nd Street. Tickets are available by visiting www.smarttix.com or by phoning (212) 868-4444.
For further information on Classical Theatre of Harlem's 2007/2008 season, visit www.classicaltheatreofharlem.org.