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'Journey to Bethlehem': Lecrae, For King & Country's Joel Smallbone Star in Nativity Musical

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Grammy Award-winning Christian artists Joel Smallbone and Lecrae will star in a live-action Christmas musical that tells the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.

"Journey to Bethlehem" will be in theaters starting November 10. The musical will feature Academy Award nominee Antonio Banderas as King Herod, Fiona Palomo as Mary, Milo Manheim as Joseph, Joel Smallbone as Herod's son, Antipater, and Lecrae as the archangel Gabriel. 

Film and TV music writer and composer Adam Anders directed this version of the nativity story. 

"I first had the idea for the film years ago when I was looking for a musical to watch with my family at Christmastime," Anders said. "I want this movie to be a bright light this Christmas season — as bright as the star of Bethlehem."

The Journey To Bethlehem reportedly retells Mary and Joseph's journey through "humor, faith" and a blend of classic and new Christmas songs.

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"A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown. This live-action Christmas musical adventure for the entire family weaves classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs in a retelling of the greatest story ever told—the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies, this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it," reads the website's description. 

The film's actors say the retelling of this world-changing biblical story will resonate with viewers. 

"This is the story that turned B.C to A.D. Everything changed with the birth of Jesus," Smallbone said in a clip posted to Instagram. "The nativity story is sort of a musical at the heart of it. These angels show up and they're singing to shepherds." 

Lecrae says he hopes the film bring hope and joy to viewers. 

"It is a story that has been important for thousands of years. It needs to be told and retold," Lecrae said in a clip posted to Instagram. "What an amazing opportunity to be the first musical offering of a story this significant."

He continued, "People will experience the journey of Mary - this young girl who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It's a unique vantage point and perspective that really does stay faithful to God's story, but at the same time adds so much color."

Watch the trailer below:

Tickets can be purchased at

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.