Even though radio stations have been playing holiday music since Labor Day, nothing compares to the real, live thing. Alas, your neighborhood caroling team is in upheaval after "The Twelve Days of Christmas" mix-up (it's ten lords a-leapin', sheesh!), which means you must seek the sounds of the season elsewhere. We recommend that you head to the Black Rep's new home at Harris-Stowe State University's Emerson Performance Center (3031 Laclede Avenue; 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org) for the company's season-opening production, Black Nativity: A Holiday Celebration. This performance begins with a traditional African nativity story and packs the second act full of songs, giving you a double dose of holiday spirit and wonder. Black Nativity is staged at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from December 5 through 22 (note that the Saturday, December 7, show is at 8 p.m.). Tickets cost $35 to $45.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 5. Continues through Dec. 22, 2013