As holiday traditions go, Penumbra's Black Nativity is becoming positively venerable, with this year's edition marking 20 years of performances. It's the story of a recently widowed grandmother so lost in her bereavement that she hardly notices that the holidays are upon her. Her family rallies, surprising her with food, music, laughter, and reminders that life is indeed worth living. The show itself, conceived by Penumbra's Lou Bellamy and T. Mychael Rambo, includes top local jazz and gospel talent, along with musical direction and arrangements by the always ace Sanford Moore. Venerable it may be, but it also promises to deliver energy, elevation, and beauty.
Thursdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 29. Continues through Dec. 30, 2007