Milwaukee’s holiday season will kick off in grand fashion when Black Arts MKE‘s annual Christmas musical, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes, lands at the Marcus Performing Arts Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, December 8-11. It will be the musical’s seventh year in Milwaukee.

Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is a retelling of Hughes’ original 1961 Off-Broadway production. Featuring an all-Black cast, the Milwaukee production also takes place in Milwaukee.

“This play is about triumph over tragedy,” says two-time director Dimonte Henning in a press release. “Black people in Milwaukee have had to overcome a lot, especially in the past two years, but we are still here and persevere because of the birth of Jesus Christ, and that is something to celebrate!”

The press release continues:

The creative team behind Black Nativity by Langston Hughes continues to elevate the production in music, dance, costuming, and set design. This year, professional dancers Dos Feurtado and Ella Lakey collaborate with returning seasoned choreographer Christopher Gilbert to create new, jaw-dropping performances. Respected music producer Antoine Reynolds returns for his sixth year with new hip-hop arrangements and a stage setup to better showcase his fellow musicians. Costume stylists Kyndal Johnson and Vato Vergara are evolving their costume design to lean more into the afro-centric diaspora. Stage design will also grow to incorporate architectural pieces representing different parts of the city, in addition to new technical elements. Lastly, well-known spoken word performer Cedric Dale Hoard will start each act with a cypher highlighting the journey of Joseph and Mary and the Black experience in Milwaukee.

“The message is love. Love for ourselves, for our neighbor, and for our culture,” Henning says. “If you come this year, you’ll see that on full display through the joyful and healing power of Milwaukee’s Black art community. I’m not going to lie, you may cry some cathartic tears, but you’ll also be dancing and singing in the aisles.”

Reserved seating tickets are $45. Get them HERE. A special Community Night dress rehearsal on December 8 at 7:30 p.m. will feature discounted tickets for $25.50.

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.