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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce it will be presenting two original musical revues for its summer season. Opening on Wednesday, July 18th will be Songbirds of the 70’s running through Sunday, July 29th. The second show is called The Fabulous Five opening on Wednesday, August 22nd and playing through Sunday, September 2nd. Both of these shows are being written and adapted by Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. Tuesday through Saturday performances begin at 8:00 pm. Sunday matinees are at 2:00 pm. All tickets are $29.50 and may be bought on line at www.wbttsrq.org or by calling the box office at 941-366-1505.
“It’s going to be another highly energetic, romantic and nostalgic summer for us,” remarked Jacobs. “WBTT presents a variety of different productions during our main season that includes straight dramas, as well as musical revues and plays. In the summer we like to just kick back and have fun with the music of gone-by eras, music that many grew up with but that also has stood the test of time so it’s familiar. Continuing that tradition, this summer’s shows will present wonderful songs that will either have you dancing in your seat, holding hands or singing along.”
Songbirds of the 70’s features an all-female cast of Troupe members. Nisi Pierre, Jnana Cooper, Tsadok Porter, Naarai Jacobs and Ebony Lavender will be performing songs made famous by some of the most celebrated female pop and soul divas of the 1970s such as Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Barbara Streisand, Karen Carpenter, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and more. Some of the hit songs this revue plans to include are “Close To You,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”
In contrast, The Fabulous Five will feature five of your favorite WBTT guys singing hit songs from 1960s, Motown and more. Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino, James Brown, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and others will be represented with songs such as “Lonely Teardrops,” “You Send Me,” and “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.” Sheldon Roden, Michael Mendez, Leon Pitts II, Charles Manning and Chris Eisenberg promise to have you swooning, finger-snapping, and singing along.
“I was inspired by the music of these times,” Jacobs explained. “It just happened that there was one group of songs for the boys and one for the girls. And now that it did, the Troupe members are getting a little competitive as to whose show will be the best. A little competition will only make each one better, for the performers and for the audiences. I mean it when I say it’s going to be another great summer at WBTT.”