On catchy songs and clapping

Review of Black Nativity by Bianca G., age 18

It’s exciting, a chance for people who aren’t members of a gospel church to finally stand up and scarrream hallelujah for the price of a theatre ticket. And if anything can bring old and young people together, black and white people together, it’s a song that is catchy as all get out.

Photo by Chris Bennion

In the ninth annual performance at “The Intiman Non-Denominational Church,” Black Nativity tells the story of Jesus while the audience patiently waits for the next song. Then there were times with no story and no song, when the audience was confused but clapped encouragingly (the abrupt tap dancing solo because someone knew how, aerial flips for the sake of aerial flips.) It was reminiscent of a talent show and I had no idea what was going on, and yet I’d never felt so alive!

You’re guaranteed some feel-good divinity, unless you’re the type to transition in and out of clapping awkwardly or dread being picked from the audience. During the performance you will be asked to stand up and shake everyone’s hand around you, dance while they sing the cha-cha slide, and clap pretty much the entire time. The occasional bit of humor is bizarre; a few in the audience doubled over laughing while everyone else smiled politely, raised their eyebrows, and felt a little embarrassed.

To reinstate the feeling of belonging they took roll, giving a shoutout to the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Jews, etc., though the atheists went unrecognized. There was even a guest appearance by the always fabulous Sanjaya and two more-forgotten American Idols. If you’re a sucker for musicals, you’ll love Black Nativity. If you find musicals unrealistic and virtually plotless, then you still might like it because the songs are so darn catchy. Then they’re stuck in your head for the next three days.

Bianca G.
December 2nd, 2007

Black Nativity
Through December 28th
More info and show times: http://www.intiman.org/
INTIMAN’s Ticket Office: 206-269-1900
Ticket Office Hours: Tuesday – Sunday Noon – show time

INTIMAN Theatre is located at 201 Mercer Street on the Seattle Center campus. It is served by buses 1,2,3,4,13,15,16,18,45, 74 and 85 and others. For bus times: tripplanner.metrokc.gov

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