Santa and Scrooge will need to step aside briefly in Charlotte's Yuletide revelries and make way for a simple narrative about an infant born in Bethlehem. For the seventh year running, Starving Artist Productions presents The Birth, a faithful hour-long adaptation of essays by Frederick Buechner witnessing the Nativity and meditating on its cosmic meaning with the extra stage pizzazz of three musicians, two actors, a singer and dancer.
Starving Artist founder Nathan Rouse had the audacity to use the C-word in his subtitle, "A reflective celebration of the coming of Christ," bringing us the good tidings from the perspectives of a shepherd, a wise man and an understandably sheepish innkeeper - who missed it all! - intertwined with a half dozen songs. Rouse returns with The Birth and last year's co-star, the venerable James K. Flynn, at Duke Energy Theater. For more information, visit www.thebirth.net.
$16; $30 for special Celebration Night with a concert by Sarah DeShields on Dec. 23. Dec. 15, 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 16, 7 p.m.; Dec. 20, 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 22, 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 23, 7 p.m. Duke Energy Theater, 345 N. College St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org.