Christmas Carols

Ensemble Brings the Nativity to Life

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Sunday, December 22, The Place Where You Belong was honored to host a 2013 performance of Black Nativity.  The Vision from Pastor O, was to bring to life the Christmas Story through an anointed group, providing Christmas enlightenment as well as entertainment.  The Ensemble Theatre of Houston was no disappointment.JoAnne Davis-Jones

The Cast was stocked full of talented voices, amazing dancers and great actors and actresses.  Directed by Eileen J.  Morris, the cast of Black Nativity brought the Christmas story to life with renditions of Oh What a Wonderful Child, Silent Night, Mary Did You Know, Total Praise and many others soulful Christmas songs and melodies.Lashanna Leonard

The amazing dance numbers fit well into the performance, showing the full range of all on stage.  Each actor and actress displayed talent and ability well beyond the expectation of the audience, bringing smiles and applause from all presence. Spotlighted was anointed vessels Lashanna Leonard and Samanta West, both who’s solos covered the with of the stage, conquering each place their foot trod.  Their routines was graceful, and as one attendant labeled them, “angelic”.

A powerful performance by JoAnne Davis-Jones set the tone for the entire evening.  Her energy and powerful voice insured the audience that their attendance was no accident and would not be an evening without purpose and or fulfillment.    Midway through the production, Tommie Harper III brought the audience to their feet, mastering the  falsetto solo in a rendition of Temptations rendition of Silent Night.

The night was brought to a boil with a duet by Constance Washington and Brandon Johnson, as they performed a First Met Favorite, Mary Did You Know.  This song is near and dear to First Met, as our Pastor O’s solo tradition each Christmas.  The song displayed the talent of both soloist, and was under girded by the harmony of the entire cast.  This lead to the powerful concluding number Total Praise, which featured the backing of the amazing First Met Choir.  The full power of the voices was the perfect conclusion to the night.

L to R Top Brandon Johnson, Tommie Harper III, Samantha West, Werner Richmond, Bottom L to R JoAnne Davis-Jones, Constance Washington & LaShanna Leonard

L to R Top Brandon Johnson, Tommie Harper III, Samantha West, Werner Richmond, Bottom L to R JoAnne Davis-Jones, Constance Washington & LaShanna Leonard

The Ensemble is Coming to the Beltway

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December 22, the historic Ensemble Theater will be performing Black Nativity at First Met, The Place Where You Belong!  The performance will be in the sanctuary of First Met at 7 pm.  The tickets for seats can be obtained by registering online (Tickets can be picked up in the front office).  The $15 cost for the performance is being covered by First Met; thus the community can access this message of love for free.


Black Nativity is a retelling of the classic Nativity story by writer Langston Hughes.  It contained an all -black cast, which performed traditional gospel style Christmas Carols, and a few additional songs that were written specifically for the show.

Black Nativity was one of the first plays written by an African-American, and was first performed on December 11, 1961.  The show has annually been performed in Boston, Massachusetts, at Tremont Temple since 1969.

The Ensemble Theater was founded by the late George Hawkins in 1976.  It was created to preserve the artistic expression and diversity in the arts.  The theater is over 35 years old, and has become one of Houston’s top historical institutions.