Musical revue to feature greatest hits from the late Queen of Soul, sung by WBTT female powerhouses on WBTT’s mainstage Sept. 11-15

SARASOTA, FL – In response to the recent passing of the legendary Aretha Franklin, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present Salute to the Queen: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin. This special celebration of the life and legacy of the "Queen of Soul" will feature popular WBTT artists Naarai Jacobs and founding member Teresa Stanley. The evening will showcase many of Franklin’s best-loved songs and will recognize her remarkable achievements; WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs will narrate the tribute. Songs will include “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” “Think,” “Chain of Fools” and many more.

“With Ms. Franklin’s passing, I feel it’s important to pay homage to her tremendous talent and honor her immeasurable contributions to American music,” said Jacobs. “WBTT patrons know that we are already planning to present my original musical, Love Sung in the Key of Aretha, in March, as part of our regular 2018-2019 season. But because of my strong personal feelings and the outpouring of emotion from WBTT fans, I knew we also had to do something sooner, so we are organizing this special additional tribute to her.”

The Troupe is thrilled to welcome back Stanley and Jacobs, both of whom have been strongly impacted by Franklin's life and music. Stanley has enjoyed success on Broadway in productions including The Color Purple and Rock of Ages, and Jacobs – Nate's daughter and a longtime performer with WBTT – has performed with artists including Beyoncé and Logic since moving to Los Angeles several years ago.

Backup vocalists will be Nate Jacobs, Ariel Blue and Samone Hicks. Music director is Robert Henderson. WBTT's renowned live band – for this show featuring James E. Dodge II on bass, Etienne “EJ” Porter on drums, and Liston Gregory on auxiliary keys – will accompany the singers.

Performances to take place September 11-15 at Westcoast Black Theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota) at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Friday, Sept. 14. Tickets are $39/adults, $20/students and active military (with valid ID). Go to westocastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.

About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. 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 and attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.

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