Harlem Renaissance giant James Weldon Johnsons 1927 poetic re-telling of biblical stories is not completely unknown to Nashville audiences. Besides a community theater production in 2001 at Hillsboro High School, there was also a short-run 2006 mounting at The Belcourt starring Jeff Carr and former NFL great Eddie George. To celebrate Black History Month, you couldnt find a more appropriate mix of theater and music, especially if the package is delivered as it should be: in the passionate spirit of the African-American preacher. This newly dramatized version is driven creatively by Ted Swindleys adaptation, with co-direction by local playwright-actor Shawn Whitsell. The cast includes familiar players from Whitsells Destiny Theatre Experience ensemble, along with feature performers Delores Nicholson, deacon at Christ Church Cathedral, and special guest Barry Scott. Among the Bible stories revisited are The Creation, Noah and the Ark, The Prodigal Son, The Crucifixion, and The Judgment Day. Composer Rolin Mains provides original jazz and New Age music while also leading a five-piece instrumental group. Belmont Universitys Jane Warren directs the gospel singing.
Thu., Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2010