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Last year’s Harlem-based holiday musical The First Noel returns to the famous Apollo, but this year the “21st Century Dickens” shines on the main stage.

The Apollo Theater proudly presents The Classical Theater of Harlem’s production of The First Noel which follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one. Time is slow to heal this family’s wounds until an unexpected visit from Grandma reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. This story is about how a community is healed, one family at a time, as everyday people do extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love during the holiday season.

After outstanding feedback from the show’s 2015 premiere, which resulted in a sold-out, extended run in the Harlem landmark’s smaller soundstage, The First Noel is making an unprecedented leap to the main theater graced by infinite Black legends.

“The upstairs was our ‘out-of-town’ engagement,” Co-Author Jason Michael Webb laughed.  “This year is the main event!”

First Noel Creatives
l-r Jason Michael Webb, Lelund Durond Thompson, Kamilah Forbes, Ty Jones, Brian Harlan Brooks, and Steve H. Broadnax III

The heartfelt musical features original music and reimagined classic carols – ranging from pop to jazz to gospel.  Running December 10-18, The First Noel features an original book, music and lyrics by Webb and Co-Author Lelund Durond Thompson, Choreography by Brian Harlan Brooks, and Steve H. Broadnax III as Director.

“We didn’t think it would happen so quickly, but coming to the main stage is just size,” Broadnax shared.  “The voices were always huge…the baby just got too big for it’s shoes. It was always designed to be on a main stage.  If you dream it, it will come through.”

Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes and Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Producing Artistic Director Ty Jones couldn’t be more thrilled about the show’s expansion this holiday season and what that means for both the production and the community.

“This is part of a bigger vision of our involvement in musical theater. The dream of this show is to compliment the holiday season along with all the other great things that you may see downtown.  We want to build the brand of The First Noel.”

Ashley Ware Jenkins, Zariah Singletary
Ashley Ware Jenkins, Zariah Singletary
Cast of The First Noel
Cast of The First Noel

The First Noel features a stunning cast including principals Brian D. Coats, Tina Fabrique, Ashley Ware Jenkins, Donald King Jr, Lizan Mitchell , Ken Robinson, Soara-Joye Ross, with Nia Caesar and Zariah Singletary as Young Noel. The ensemble features James Alexander, Angela Birchett, Jesse Corbin, Darius Crenshaw, Tamara Jade Fingal, Ayana George, Latrisa A. Harper, Adam Hyndman, Sarita Amani Nash, Tiffany Webb, Helen White and in his New York stage debut, Broadway Black’s fearless leader, Drew Shade.

With the “strictly limited run” closing just short of Christmas week, Broadway Black had to ask if there was any word on another extension this year.

Forbes smiled, “There’s always a possibility.”

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit ApolloTheater.Org.

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