Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s 2014-15 season “Love, Laughter and Legends”

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March 4, 2014
Contact Lisa Rubinstein, LDR Creative, Inc., 941-373-3803 or [email protected]


Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s 2014-15 season, “Love, Laughter and Legends” is ready to be announced. In addition to four wonderful shows, the schedule includes three Saturday matinees added for each show and a special holiday show being offered in addition to the regular season. Running from October to May, the regular season shows being presented include three musicals with one Nate Jacobs original production and one straight play. The shows are Little Shop of Horrors, Knock Me a Kiss, Jazz Hot Mamas and Spunk. The special holiday show is Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity. Tickets are expected to go on sale later this spring, with an announcement on the WBTT website and Facebook page. Subscriptions will sell for $90 each for the four main season shows. Black Nativity tickets will be sold separately for $35 each; $15 for students with ID. Individual tickets will go on sale in the fall and will cost $29.50 each; $15 for students with ID.
    “We are very excited about our upcoming season,” remarked Nate Jacobs, founding artistic director. “’Love, Laughter and Legends” will be exactly that! Little Shop is a great fun show; Knock Me a Kiss is a powerful play that will give us a lot to talk about; Jazz Hot Mamas will focus on the great jazz classics and Spunk is a proven Off-Broadway hit show. Extending the schedule and adding a special holiday show add to our excitement about the coming season.”
    The season starts with Little Shop of Horrors running from October 15th thru November 16th. This charming and very funny show is a spoof of the 1950s-era, B-movie, sci-fi flicks. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, Little Shop of Horrors features a lively Motown-like score perfect for the Troupe. The story is about an extraterrestrial plant with a man-eating appetite. If you’ve never seen it, get ready for some fun. If you have experienced the play, you’ll want to see it again and again.    
    Knock Me a Kiss is a fascinating account of the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. DuBois’ daughter to one of Harlem’s most talented poets. The play, a standout hit for two seasons at the National Black Theatre Festival, runs from January 7th through February 8th. The story of the marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of African-American talent and beauty, but the union failed.  This powerful play exposes the tragically flawed error in judgment by one of the greatest intellects of the 20th century.    
Jazz Hot Mamas will be just that. In another of his original musical revues, Nate Jacobs salutes the great women performers of the jazz era including Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Etta Jones, and Peggy Lee. They rose to stardom, broke barriers, and left a legacy few can match. Their phenomenal voices, style, and grace won over audiences around the world and will continue to do so in this WBTT show running from February 25th through March 29th.
Ending the season will be Spunk, adapted for the stage from three short stories of love, revenge, and redemption by Zora Neale Hurston. Spunk, with its music and dance, humor and intensity, breathes new life into these short stories from the Harlem Renaissance.  An award-winning, Off-Broadway show, these are “tales of survival told in the key of the blues,” with a common theme of hope for the future. WBTT will present it April 15th through May 17.
During the December holiday season, WBTT brings back Black Nativity. This celebration of the Nativity story with gospel, blues, spiritual, and Christmas music, is paired with the poetry of Langston Hughes and will shine with the creative talent of WBTT. Children and adults of all races and backgrounds will be enthralled by this high-energy, theatrical wonderment.  This special presentation will run for three weeks, December 3-21.

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 call 941-366-1505.

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