Tonight my family and I went to see the Black Nativity at the South West Arts center. As lovers of musical theatre we were excited to experience this play. The first time we saw this show was about seven years ago on a daytime field trip with my son’s school. I vaguely remembered the show being really good with great music. Fast forward to tonight.
I had been watching the audition clips on director, Robert Connor’s, Instagram page for weeks. The teasers were crazy. The spotlights on Latrice Pace and Q. Parker were intriguing. The build-up to the cast release was crazy and last week they announced there was a cd.
The play started out comical. We laughed as we could see “characters” from our church on the stage. We sang along to the songs in the church scene and tapped our feet. The African dance section transporting us back in time to see the birth of Christ unfold was outstanding. Their choreography was nothing short of amazing.
Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for the birth of baby Jesus. It was within these moments this play took a completely different turn. Within moments this went from entertainment to worship.
We are watching Mary and Joseph tarry as they seek a room. One of the most genius aspects of this show is that Mary and Joseph never speak. They tell their story through dance. Absolutely Brilliant! As Mary gives birth we are all completely consumed with the beauty as song meets dance. Once the visitors arrive and the story continues to play out, songs we have been singing during the advent season began to have new meaning.
At this point, the actors and actresses are no longer acting. As “we worship Christ the Lord” the entire audience is swept into full Praise and Worship. Not that “on the surface once the choir finishes singing God exits the building, but that deep within your soul “I exalt thee!” without music worship. As the praise continued to grow within the audience the actors and actresses are in full-blown worship and adoration of what this musical is truly about. A child was born to save humanity.
The Black Nativity musical is the epitome of the black church experience. This is unlike any of the other musicals I have attended. Even hours later, I am still basking in the beauty of the worship experience that took place in South West Arts tonight.
Mr Robert John Connor and Dominion Entertainment did an absolutely phenomenal job executing this story. The message shall live on in our hearts for years to come. The anticipation of the cast list was well worth it. Each person in this show is dynamic in his or her own way. Every single note was in place, every “run” was on point, and the presence of God was invited in.
While I understand the shows are all sold out, perhaps more will be added. When they are, I encourage you to grab a ticket and take a friend.