Since 1968, the National Black Theatre has been part of the heart of Harlem. The 99-seat Off-Off-Broadway theatre is one of New York's few remaining African-American theatres (which include The Negro Ensemble Company, the New Federal Theatre).
NBT produces four-to-six original shows each season, the latest being a 10th anniversary revival of the gospel musical, The Legacy, opening April 18 and running until May 18. The production seeks to "capture the historical spirit of song from the African beginnings to African-American traditions." Coordinating producer Angelette Verdena King bills the show as "a good Sunday morning sermon for every day of the week."
Elmo Terry-Morgan wrote the piece, adapting the words of original writer Gordon Nelson. Elmo Terry-Morgan directs the show, which features such gospel standards as "My Old Missus Promised Me," "Great Change," "Just Work," and "There's A Spirit Going Around."
Originally produced by Shirley Clements Faison at NBT in 1987, the show ran for over four years. Said producer King, "We used to revive it every year to celebrate the anniversary except the last two years -- we were saving it for the 10th anniversary."
The National Black Theatre, on 125th St. and Fifth Ave., uses positive themes to reinvent African-American culture and develop "a new cultural leadership of entrepreneurial artists." For tickets and information on The Legacy, call (212) 722-3800.
--By David Lefkowitz