Go back in time for a Southern Italian Christmas play when I Giullari di Piazza (The Jesters of the Square) present their “La Cantata dei Pastori,” a musical version of a 17th century family play by Andrea Perrucci, still performed annually on the streets of Naples and environs. A large cast of musicians, vocalists, dancers and specialty performers, led by Alessandra Belloni, enact the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. On the way they have both hilarious and dramatic adventures: they meet Razzullo, the commedia dell’arte character played by Naples native Giuseppe de Falco, specialist in commedia. The devil, played by expert swordsman James Karcher, battles the Archangel Gabriel (performed by stiltwalker Mark Mindek), who is protecting the couple throughout. The play is performed in Italian with English narration by Max McGuire as La Befana, the good witch of Christmas who gives sweets to the good children and lumps of coal to those who have been bad. “La Cantata dei Pastori” ends with the birth of Jesus, and the full company singing the oldest recorded Neapolitan Christmas carol, accompanied on traditional bagpipe by special guest Giovannagelo de Gennar from Apulia Italy. Musical version is by John La Barbera, directed by Alessandra Belloni. 5 performances: Dec. 16, 17, 21, 22 at 8 PM; Dec. 18 at 5 PM.