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:
With reporting by WBUR's Delores Handy