World-premiere production honors girl-powered groups that scored numerous hits, broke new ground for female artists
SARASOTA, FL - Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe continues its 2016-2017 season with Girl Groups: The ‘60s Explosion, which runs March 1 - April 9, 2017. In this world-premiere production, created and directed by WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, the girl groups of the 1960s take center stage in celebration of a time when hit songs came fast and furious and glass ceilings were shattered..
“In the 1960s, it was so difficult for women to break into the music industry. The main way in for women was to support male artists in a backup role,” said Jacobs. “Then came the groups like The Supremes, The Shirelles, Martha and the Vandellas, The Marvelettes and The Shangri-Las, who took the stage and airwaves by storm. They forever changed the game for women entertainers, moving them solidly front and center stage.”
Cast members are Syreeta S. Banks, Ariel Blue, JoAnna Ford, Khadija “Kat” Sallet, and Alyssa White. Songs featured in the show include “Da Doo Ron Ron” (The Crystals), “One Fine Day” (The Chiffons), “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Chapel of Love” (The Shirelles), “Be My Baby” (The Ronettes), “Mr. Postman” (The Marvelettes), “Heatwave” (Martha & The Vandellas), “Stop In The Name of Love” (The Supremes) and many, many more.
Production stage manager is Juanita Munford, production manager is James E. Dodge II, costume designer is Cristy Owen, scenic designer is John C. Reynolds, lighting design by Nick Jones, sound engineer Patrick Russini, technical director is Shane Streight, and property master is Annette Breazeale. Music director is James E. Dodge II and music consultant is Tony Moon.
WBTT is noted for having live accompaniment for its musical productions and this show will continue the tradition. The band is James E. Dodge II on bass, Todd Bellamy on piano, Jamar Camp on auxiliary keys, Willie Thompson on guitar, and Donald “Snoopy” Watts on drums.
“While we are proud to present all kinds of theatre - musicals, drama and comedy - what WBTT is most known for is our sizzling musical revues,” said WBTT executive director Julie Leach. “Our patrons certainly responded enthusiastically to this show, with tickets selling by far the fastest this season!”
Performances, which take place at the WBTT theater (1646 10th Way, Sarasota) are 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $39.50/adults, $22/students and active military with valid ID. Call the Box Office (941-366-1505) or go to westcoastblacktheatre.org.
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 professional theatre that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.