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The Black Rep's Gift to St. Louis 

America's Christmas onslaught is a well-drilled machine at this point. Immediately after the last plate is removed from the Thanksgiving table, a barrage of holiday-themed entertainments commences on all fronts -- movies, TV specials, concerts, arts & crafts activities and yes, theatrical productions. And even in that blizzard of events, Black Nativity stands out. Director Ron Himes devised this retelling of the story of Christmas, which uses popular songs, hymns, carols and gospel music to make you see the birth of Christ through the lens of the African American experience. From shepherds in the hills above Bethlehem to a rock-solid church on Christmas day, 2011, the tale transpires through music and dance. The Black Rep presents Black Nativity Thursday through Sunday (November 25 through December 18) at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org). Tickets are $35 to $47.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 25. Continues through Dec. 18, 2011

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