Soul Nativity

Harlem School of the Arts performing “Soul Nativity.”
Photo by Julie Skarratt

“Soul Nativity” was born and incubated at The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) over 14 years. The musical co-writers, Tracy Jack and Alfred Preisser, met at the school in the late 90’s and since have collaborated on over 30 professional and student projects, including productions of Soul Nativity in various incarnations at The Theatre of St. Clements, The Duke on 42nd Street, and multiple versions at The HSA Theatre. A joyous pageant for all ages and perfect for anyone who loves music, dance and the holiday season, Soul Nativity has garnered rave reviews and sold out houses wherever it has been performed. This year’s featured guest choir is Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir.

“Soul Nativity” will run on the weekends of Friday, Dec. 12 – 14 and Friday, Dec. 19 – 21*. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the doors ($15 students/ seniors). Tickets can be purchased at: hsany‌c.org/‌soul-‌nativ‌ity. The show will take place at HSA’s Theater, which is located at: HSA, 645 St. Nicholas Ave., New York, NY 10030.

The piece tells the story of the Nativity in an innovative and musically charged way, employing a score heavily influenced by classic R&B and Soul acts. As part of HSA’s season dedicated to Harlem, all of the musical arrangements are inspired by famous acts that have played the Apollo.

The show features no fewer than 26 HSA theatre and dance students, musical direction from Jeffrey Bolding (of the Abyssinian Baptist Church) guest appearances from The Daughter’s of the Flame of the Abyssinian Baptist Church and the incredible music of Tomas Doncker and Global Soul.

What People Are Saying about Soul Nativity:

“Miracle on 42nd Street … Rarely in the theatre do weighty concerns such as the plight of a pregnant teen with nowhere to go co-exist with so much jubilation.”

-Joy Goodwin, The New York Sun

“The show’s highlights are too numerous to set down completely. Suffice it to mention a few: Mary’s dance/delivery of her baby; the Motown version of “Go Tell It on a Mountain”; audience participation that turns the audience into a congregation and the show into a service; and the deeply moving “Silent Night/7 O’clock News.”

– Paulanne Simmons, CurtainUp

“For 80 minutes, the ensemble just keeps topping itself in a blend of modern dress nativity story, rousing revival meeting, and most of all first rate soul gospel review. It’s a rare pageant that delivers this much warmth, energy and depth of feeling.”

– Rollo Romig, The New Yorker

Soul Nativity Details:

*Show dates:

Friday Dec. 12 • 7:00 p.m.

Saturday Dec. 13 • 3:00

p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday Dec. 14 • 3:00 p.m.

Friday Dec. 19 • 7:00 p.m.

Saturday Dec. 20 • 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday Dec. 21 • 3:00 p.m.

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