Like the story of Christmas, Jim Reyland’s new holiday play, Motel Noel, is filled with drama and grace, humor and redemption, and of course, the sounds of the Christmas season. Motel Noel features two of Nashville’s finest actors, Barry Scott and The Boiler Room’s Jamey Green as two angels in exile, arriving on the holiest night of the year, Christmas Eve. They discover a shelter full of lost and lonely souls, they discover music, but most of all they discover themselves as they transform the hearts and souls around them.
Motel Noel is a play with music, not a musical. As the story unfolds, all of your Christmas favorites weave through the action and become the play’s Christmas soundtrack. The piano onstage even becomes an important character in the play. Other members of the cast include Jessica Kwende, Michael Adcock, Max Nolan and Morgan Fairbanks.
When asked for this article why this play should be seen by African American audiences this season, Scott had this to say: “You pose an interesting question indeed: Why should African American audiences see this play this season? This question begs for a response to which there is no one authentically meaningful answer. African Americans may be the most diverse people in modern civilization. Why we as Black people in the United States do anything is absolutely relative to individual tastes and preferences.
“So let me say this about the play: MOTEL NOEL does not express the typical commercialization of Christmas; but rather tells the story of a society of great means that has no room in the Inn for ‘The Least of These.’ In the case of this particular story three homeless souls may be angels or may just simply be homeless. The language of the play examines the souls of the haves and the have nots at Christmas time. There are laughs, tears and feelings of joy in store for all who come.”
Scott, one of the most versatile practitioners of his art, is widely known for his successes as an actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker and voice over artist. The founder and producing artistic director of the American Negro Playwright Theatre at Tennessee State University, where his parents and grandparents graduated, Scott has become one of the leading theatre artists in his Nashville, on top of his impressive acting credits nationwide.
See Motel Noel at 4th Story Theater in the West End United Methodist Church through December 17. Remaining performances are December 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17 at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees on December 10 and 17 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students, and every ticket supports Room In The Inn. Motel Noel has matinees with student, senior and group discounts.
Admission to Motel Noel includes an intermission Christmas party, and there is plenty of free parking at the church. Tickets are available at the door or online via writersstage.com