It's Christmas 1971 and the audience at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre is excitedly awaiting the start of a roof-raising holiday concert by some of Motown's greatest artists. However, a few challenges with the talent create the setting for a little holiday magic.
The ensuing story is the basis for Holiday Jubilee 2012, Crossroads Theatre Company's annual family-friendly musical event conceived by Sibusiso Mamba and Rick Sordelet, who is also the director of the show.
This year, Crossroads Theatre will be transformed into the legendary Apollo, filled with classic Motown sounds as it hosts this merry musical revue December 6 through 16 at the theatre at 7 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ.
Fans will hear such classics as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Dancing in the Streets" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," as well as traditional holiday favorites interpreted by a talented cast of performers.
Crossroads Artistic Director Marshall Jones II says the music of Motown is perfect fit for the theater company's current season, which is focusing on different eras of American history.
Holiday Jubilee 2012 will transport audiences back to Motown's heyday to hear the great music that propelled the careers of so many legendary artists.
"The show takes place in 1971, the year before Motown moved to Los Angeles," Jones said. "We wanted to capture that raw feeling and excitement in the music from the Detroit days, music that helped shape a generation."
The Holiday Jubilee has become a tradition at Crossroads. Children under 12 are admitted free, and get to sit on a mat close to the stage. There is a limit of one child admission per adult ticket.
Mamba, who wrote and starred in Crossroads' Train to 2010, helped conceive the story for Holiday Jubilee along with Sordelet, a renowned Broadway fight choreographer, who is returning to direct Holiday Jubilee 2012.
Crossroads Theatre's 2012-13 season will continue with Kansas City Swing - A Story of Negro League Baseball, written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, Feb. 7-17, Unveiled, about Muslim women in the post-9/11 world, April 24-28, and a soon-to-be announced finale, written by a major author, May 9-19.
Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage.
Performances: Evenings: 8 p.m., December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15
Matinees: 3 p.m., December 9, and 15 and 16
Press Night/Opening Night: Saturday December 8 at 8pm
Tickets: $40 - all seats; One child under 12 with purchase of adult ticket admitted free of charge. Purchase online at www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org or call 732-545-8100.
Location: Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901