They Sing Christmas Up in Harlem: A Lenox Ave. Christmas Carol
The Arts-A-F!RE Youth Theater Troupe jumpstarts the holiday season with a musical presentation of "They Sing Christmas Up In Harlem: A Lenox Ave. Christmas Carol." Written by playwright, director, scholar Eric Leroy Wilson, "They Sing Christmas Up in Harlem" is a timeless portrayal of how joy transforms a man, and a city. It is a new interpretation of Dickens's classic tale. Set in the late 1930s, the play revolves around a numbers-running, penny-pinching gangster by the name of Ebenezer "Scratch" Scrooge, who strikes terror into the heart of the Harlem community. But on a crisp Christmas Eve, it was Scrooge's turn to be frightened. Ancestral ghosts arrived, attempting to save Scrooge (and Harlem) from hate. Swinging through the past, present and future, this modern-day Christmas Carol is filled with the rhythms of jazz and voices of the Harlem Renaissance. Narrated by a bass player named Charlie, gospel-moaning ghosts, cutthroat gangsters, struggling citizens and poets come together to tell Dickens' timeless Christmas tale.
Scrooge's ghostly visitors bear a striking resemblance to 'Bob' Marley, Ada Pearl, Aunt Esther, and a host of 'spirits' culled from African American history and culture.
The play's director, Naomi Williams Moody elaborates, "In 1939, coming out of the great depression and the end of the Harlem renaissance, Harlem was a community of people improvising upon the givens. However, 1939, is only a reference point. The play improvises, reaching into the past and reaching forward into contemporary African American culture, to reinterpret this universal classic, with humor, insight, imagination, and heart."
Kent Suggs, musical director for Jazz-A-F!RE, has orchestrated a score that is both inventive, and warmly familiar. The cast of "They Sing Christmas Up in Harlem" is comprised of members from the Arts-A-F!RE Youth Theater Troupe.
This play opens the third season of the Arts-A-F!RE Youth Theater Troupe. The troupe is comprised of youth 9 18 from throughout the Memphis who participate in year-round musical theater training at the FireHouse Community Arts Center with the aim of developing "Excellence on Stage and in Life."
Arts-A-F!RE Youth Theater Troupe is supported, in part, by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the tax-deductible contributions of supporters and sponsors. Memphis Black Arts Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in a 1910 converted fire station located at 985 South Bellevue in the Soulsville area of Memphis. Bennie Nelson West is executive director.
Evergreen Theater (View)
1705 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
|Minimum Age: 5|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|