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Photos: Now In Its 46th Year, The Longest-Running 'Black Nativity' Kicks Off In Boston

This article is more than 2 years old.

This year's Boston production of Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity" begins Friday night.

The song-play was first performed off-Broadway in 1961 and is now regularly presented in cities across the country. Boston boasts the longest-running production.

For 46 years, scores of volunteers get together to tell the story of the first nativity in song, dance and narration under the direction of the Boston-based National Center for Afro-American Artists.

The show's executive producer, Voncille Ross, attributes its enduring popularity to its universal story.

"It speaks to all, no matter what religion you are," she said. "It's a story that everybody can relate to. It's a story of hope, goodwill and peace."

Here's a look at a dress rehearsal inside the Paramount Center the other day:

The cast of "Black Nativity" run through a dress rehearsal at the Paramount Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
The cast of "Black Nativity" run through a dress rehearsal at the Paramount Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
Mary and Joseph on stage early in the production. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
Mary and Joseph on stage early in the production. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus during dress rehearsal. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus during dress rehearsal. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
(Hadley Green for WBUR)
(Hadley Green for WBUR)
This year marks the 46th time Boston has put on a production of Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity." (Hadley Green for WBUR)
This year marks the 46th time Boston has put on a production of Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity." (Hadley Green for WBUR)

With reporting by WBUR's Delores Handy

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