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'Black Nativity' to open in NYC

Nov. 30, 2007 at 11:34 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Classical Theatre of Harlem's adaptation of Langston Hughes' gospel song play, "Black Nativity," is set to open in New York.

Starring Andre De Shields and Tracy Jack, the drama about the birth of Jesus is set in Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal.

"If Mary and Joseph couldn't find a place, that's probably where they'd end up," director Alfred Preisser told The New York Daily News.

Featuring a cast that includes the Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya, the show began previews Friday and is scheduled to open Sunday at the Duke on 42nd Street.

Although "Black Nativity" was first seen in New York in 1961, Preisser, the theater troupe's artistic director, has set this production in 1973 -- a move he said "allowed us access to some of the greatest pop music ever and dance styles."

"The music is wall to wall," Preisser said, "and the message is all about hope."

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