Naperville church’s ‘Let It Be Christmas’ uses Beatles songs to tell Jesus’ birth story

Rock music that changed the world is being used to tell the greatest story ever told with the joining of the Beatles and the saga of Jesus’ birth for “Let It Be Christmas” this weekend and next at Naperville’s Community Christian Church.

“Let it Be Christmas” is an Epic Theatre Company’s production being presented this weekend and next at the church’s Yellow Box theater.

Now in its 11th year, it’s become an annual tradition, said Elic Bramlett, associate creative director for the church and the show’s director and co-writer.

“My brother Eric and I co-wrote and produced this together, and we have continued to change and modify it every year since we started a decade ago,” Bramlett said.

“When we started out, it was just one act and now it’s two acts and an intermission so we’ve doubled the program in length. It continues to undergo an evolution and people that have seen it before are amazed by how we work the music into the narrative.”

Herod was added to the story several years ago as were Elizabeth and Zechariah, parents of John the Baptist and a relative of Jesus, Bramlett said.

“We have the Prophets singing about the ‘Sun King’ from the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album and altogether, the program features 40 Beatles’ songs that range from their first single “Love Me Do’ to ‘Get Back’ that are either done as they were originally written or as part of a medley,” he said.

The Beatles’ secular music, he said, pairs perfectly with the Christmas season “because it is timeless and connects generations.”

“Their music helps connect the Christmas story for me and we don’t change the lyrics but use storytelling devices to tell the story of Joseph and Mary’s love story as well as songs like ‘Blackbird,’ when the Holy Spirit tells Mary she is going to have a child, and ‘Don’t Let Me Down,’ when Mary has to tell Joseph she’s pregnant,” Bramlett said.

The Beatles’ famous Abbey Road recording studio is used as a storytelling device with a sound engineer appearing as God.

“Over the years, we’ve probably had about 50,000 people see this production and those that make this a holiday tradition are still surprised by how we work things into it,” Bramlett said.

Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 15 and 21 and 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25.

Tickets can be purchased at

Community Christian’s Yellow Box theater is at 1635 Emerson Lane, at the corner of Ogden Avenue and Rickert Drive.

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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