For Immediate Release

November 22, 2010

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will open its 2010-2011 season with the Tony-award winning musical "Ain't Misbehavin'." Opening night is Friday, December 17th and runs through Sunday, January 16th. Set in 1929 during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, this play features the music of Fats Waller, a jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer who toured and performed in the United Kingdom as well as extensively in the US.  The play opened on Broadway in 1978 and won many Tony awards including best musical, best featured actress in a musical, best choreography and best direction.

"We could not be more pleased to be opening our first season in our new home with this wonderful musical production," remarked Nate Jacobs, artistic director. "This was the second play done by the Troupe in our opening 1999 season so it's one that we hold very dear to our hearts. Our new production features remarkable talent with an accomplished director, a guest artist also serving as assistant choreographer and a musical director who worked with us in 1999 AND with the Broadway show. That combined with the talent of our Troupe members and we are expecting another huge hit."

Directing the show will be Harry Bryce, director, choreographer, writer and arts educator. This will be his fourth show with the Troupe, having directed Sophisticated Ladies in 2005, Dreamgirls in 2006 and The Hot Mikado in 2008. Bryce is an award-winning director and choreographer. He founded the Memphis Black Repertory Theatre where he served as their producing artistic director for five seasons, producing 21 productions that garnered him 17 theater awards. In 2000, Mr. Bryce was the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Award of Merit for Lifetime Achievements in Performing Arts.

"Having moved to Sarasota last year, I am very excited to be working with Nate and WBTT again," commented Bryce. "I've directed Ain't Misbehavin' six or more times in various locations around the country and it's a show I really enjoy. It's a nostalgic piece that tells a slice of life story set in Harlem during the pinnacle of its renaissance. It's also a celebration of Fats Waller's at a time when African American artists of all disciplines were coming into their own and being recognized for their artistic contributions as poets, playwrights and jazz musicians. Ain't Misbehavin' is an important play as well as a very fun night in the theater."

Along with Bryce, will be LaTerry Butler as musical director. Butler has toured extensively, both nationally and internationally, with the Broadway Musical Ain't Misbehavin'. Other show credits include The Wiz, Showboat, West Side Story, Dream Girls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Purlie, Eubie, Five Guys Named Moe, All Night Strut, Crowns, and the New York world premier of Hi-Hat Hattie. Butler and his wife Tammy are Sarasota residents.

Donald Frison returns as the guest artist and assistant choreographer. Frison is here from Memphis and will also have a role in Five Guys Named Moe, later on in the season. Many might remember him from previous WBTT productions, including Sophisticated Ladies. Troupe members Leon Pitts, Whitney Johnson, Jnana (Wilson) Cherie and Ariel Blue round out this exciting and talented cast.

"We are already looking forward to opening night," Jacobs continued. "Having so much talent associated with our opening season in the new theater is awesome. We can't wait to welcome our audiences as they enjoy the talent that they have come to expect from Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe."

To find out more about WBTT or to reserve your tickets go online www.WBTTroupe.org or call 941-366-1505.