September 29, 2014
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
BEGINS 15TH YEAR SEASON AT WBTT
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 2014-15 season with one of the of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, Little Shop of Horrors. This charming and very funny musical is a spoof of the 1950s-era, B-movie, sci-fi flicks with a story that features an extraterrestrial plant with a man-eating appetite. The show opens on Friday, October 15th and will run thru Sunday, November 16th. Performances, at the WBTT Theater at 1646 10th Way in Sarasota, are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm with a Sunday matinee at 2:00. Individual tickets cost $29.50 and may be purchased online at www.wbttsrq.org or by calling the box office, 941-366-1505.
“We wanted a big, fun musical to start our 15th season and we got it with Little Shop of Horrors,” remarked Nate Jacobs, founding artistic director. “The Troupe is very excited, putting lots of energy into something completely different than we’ve ever done before. The Motown-like score is perfect for us and it’s been a great journey watching it all come together. Every season I wonder how to top the last one, but if what I’ve seen so far is any indication, 2014-15 is going to be another terrific year.”
Directing Little Shop of Horrors is Harry Bryce, a seasoned director and WBTT regular, having directed many of the Troupe’s hit musicals. Cast members include a combination of well-known Troupe members and less recognized, but well-seasoned local actors. Those who will be most recognized by WBTT regulars are Ariel Blue, Earley Dean, Naarai Jacobs, Michael Mendez and Tsadok Porter. Returning to the WBTT stage is Michael Kinsey, an early regular with the Troupe. Seen less on WBTT stages but just as experienced and talented are Emmanuel Cadet, Santoy Campbell, Derric Gobourne, Jr., Marta McKinnon and Janesia Shanae. Also new is Musical Director Mark Galinovsky, who comes from New York City. Costumes are by Christie Owen. Set design is by Donna Buckalter, locally known but also doing her first WBTT production. Michael Pasquini is lighting designer.
According to Bryce, “This is my first time directing Little Shop and it’s been very exciting to work on a show that I’ve seen many times but never directed myself. There’s a lot of magic in this show, with very precise timing coordinating the show choreography and the music, which is really terrific. I can’t recall another African-American theater company doing this iconic musical with an all African-American cast. For that, this production could be a first. Bottom line, we have a terrific cast, the voices are wonderful and the music is great. Come ready to have a good time.”
About WBTT: The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. (WBTT) is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to “produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth.” Throughout the past decade, WBTT has produced many productions and has gained a reputation for high quality, thought-provoking and entertaining performances. Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth. Many of the aspiring professional artists trained in the WBTT performing arts program have gone on to work with national and regional companies, including Apphia Campbell who most recently has been seen performing her one-woman show, Black is the Color of My Voice, in Shanghai and New York and Teresa Stanley who was a featured cast member on Broadway in The Color Purple and presently stars in Rock of Ages. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at www.wbttsrq.org follow on Facebook or Twitter or call 941-366-1505.