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Call and Post

Two of Cleveland’s finest star in Black Nativity

James W. Wade III | 11/26/2013, 9:21 p.m.

Well, if you been around Cleveland, you are familiar with the stage production of “Black Nativity” that sell out over and over each year. This was a major production with some of Ohio’s greatest talent.

Alltrina Grayson, Lucretia Bolden, Leathia Williams, Reggie Scott and others blowing up the microphone to the point the audience was shouting and yelling for them each night. Well, now it’s on the big screen and features some great actors, actresses and singers including two from Cleveland, Ohio.

Bernita Ewing and Eddie B. Sands Jr. are staring in this major movie production along with Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. This story is about Langston, a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, Reverend Cornell (Whitaker) and Aretha Cobbs (Bassett).

Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima. Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey. With new friends and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing and family.

“I really enjoyed making this movie and I can’t wait for all of my friends to see it,” said Ewing.

If you have never seen either Ewing or Sands before, come to the Call & Post’s World AIDS Day event on Sat., Nov. 30, at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Ewing realized her skills in the churches of Cleveland, her hometown. Inevitably, the bright lights of stardom drew Ewing to the Big Apple. Shortly after her arrival, she landed a role in the world-renowned long-running musical “Mama I Want to Sing.” She toured with the company domestically and internationally.

She won critical acclaim when she landed the role of Effie in the national tour of “Dreamgirls.” She not only won critical acclaim, she brought the house down and tore the rafters off the roof, nightly with her rendition of “And I am Telling You” and “I Am Changing.”

From there, she had a year long run in Bermuda in the musical revue of “Big Bad and Beautiful.” Ewing is well known for her strong performances in numerous theatrical productions. She has caught the attention of many in the music industry. This has kept her in heavy demand for studio work. She has worked with such artist as Marvin Sapp, Pastor Gary Oliver, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mavis Staples, Burt Bacharach, Michael O’Hara, Paul Simon, Shirley Henderson, Edwin Hawkins and scores of others.

Her talent has taken her to 14 countries. Her special gifts exceed her vocal talent. She has the spirit to reach for her aspirations.

Minister Eddie B Sands Jr. is an inspiring gospel artist. Originally from Cleveland, he now calls Columbus his home. He was first introduced to the world of music in church. Growing up with strong family values and religion, he has a personal testimony to the unending journey of life and the power of God.