Tonight is the benefit opening of Island Theatre Workshop, Inc.’s latest production, Gian Carlo Menotti’s beloved family opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. in the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

In these times when media bombard us with violence and less than hopeful possibilities, Amahl brings us the story of a miracle and hope. Amahl, a crippled boy, and his widow mother live in a tiny cottage; their lives have been reduced to total poverty with no heat, no oil, no food. Suddenly they are awakened by a knock at the door, and in come three kings following a star, who need temporary shelter and rest.

Eli Dagostino, a West Tisbury seventh grader, stars as Amahl, with Annie Palches as his mother. The three kings are played by Brad Austin, Elza Minor and Kevin Ryan, with a large chorus of shepherds, and Jane Lawson as the Page.

Peter Boak is music director, Lee Fierro is the director, and Tessa Permar choreographed the shepherds’ dance.

Opening night tickets are $20 to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Martha’s Vineyard.

Admission to all other performances is $15. Performances will be held at 7:30 on Jan. 17 and 18, with matinees on Jan. 13, 19 and 20 at 3 p.m.