Conceived in 1961 by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, Black Nativity is a re-telling of the Christmas story from an African-American perspective. The gospel song play is performed with narrative, dialogue and pantomime, and fuses traditional Christmas carols, folk spirituals and gospel music with original poetry and dance. The first act tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, while the second act serves as a retrospective on the history of black churches and the last 100 years of gospel music. For the second year in a row, the Mahaffey Theater Foundation presents a local production of Black Nativity with an all-ages, multicultural cast of 50 singers, dancers and musicians; Bob Devin Jones directs. Dec. 16-18, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, Free admission, 727-822-3590, www.mypalladium.org.