The Apollo Theater will present The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s staging of The First Noel this holiday season. Set in Harlem in 1985, the new holiday musical features original music and traditional holiday carols reimagined through pop, jazz, and gospel.
The First Noel made its world premiere on the Apollo’s Soundstage last year, and will make the move to the theatre’s mainstage this year from December 10-18. The production will officially open December 13 and is part of the theatre’s “Holidays at the Apollo” programming.
The musical follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by tragedy to tell a universal story of love and belonging. It features an original book, music, and lyrics by Lelund Durond Thompson (founder, YellaFella Entertainment) and Jason Michael Webb (Motown: The Musical, Violet, The Color Purple). Steve H. Broadnax III (Blood at the Root) directs, and Brian Harlan Brooks (Motown: The Musical) choreographs.
The cast of the limited engagement will be made up of Brian D. Coats, Tina Fabrique, Ashley Ware Jenkins, Donald King Jr, Lizan Mitchell, Ken Robinson, and Soara-Joye Ross, with Nia Caesar and Zariah Singletary starring 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, Drew Shade, Tiffany Webb, and Helen White.
The design team for The First Noel features Dan Robinson (scenic design), Rachel Dozier-Ezell (costume design), Alan C. Edwards (lighting design), Curtis Craig (sound design), and Andre Zachery (projection design).