Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Black Nativity

Ha, ha. I've got tickets to the sold out matinee and you don't. Me and Sicily have the inside track, since my partner's husband is the gospel director at the church sponsoring this performance.

I thought Langston Hughes was a poet - didn't know he wrote plays and musicals. This one opened on Broadway in 1961 with rave reviews. When I asked my partner if she had the music for Sicily and I to listen to in preparation, she told me there was no record of the original score. It is re-interpreted by individual performers, all over the country.

I was assured that Sicily (and I) would experience her first interpretation of the Black Nativity to an abundance of gospel music, blues, and rap. What better way to be initiated? Apparently, during its original incarnation, two of the lead performers quit because they were worried the title was too controversial in 1960's America.

So I've been researching Langston all week. Are all great American writers closet homosexuals? Langston Hughes, Somerset Maugham - I'm starting to wonder. His parents were both of mixed heritage, explaining his light skin. His dad rejected his African American roots - fleeing to Mexico and the Caribbean after he left Langston's mom. Maybe that's why Langston embraced his roots so wholeheartedly in his art. I can't wait to see the play.

Sicily's formula for snow:

1) Wear your pajamas backwards (this is highly comical - considering Sicily and John were both in footie pajamas tonight).

2) Put three ice cubes in your toilet bowl.

3) Put a spoon under your pillow.

Here's hope for a happy snow day - one where I don't have to get my kids ready for school, but my childcare arrives promptly to get me to work safely and on time. Wish I could stay home and make snowballs and hot chocolate. But I'll just look on the bright side, and take what I can get.

I think we need to alter the formula.


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