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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) plans to end the season on a “hot note” when it opens its final show of the 2013-14 season on Friday, April 11th with Bubbling Brown Sugar, a musical revue featuring the music of numerous African-American artists who were popular during the Harlem Renaissance. The show will run through May 11th. Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm. Matinees are scheduled every Sunday at 2:00 pm; two Saturday matinees have also been scheduled for May 3rd and 10th. Individual tickets may be purchased for $29.50. To check availability and purchase tickets go online to or call the box office at 941-366-1505.

“This is an iconic work of African-American theater; one of the first successful musicals on Broadway with a primarily African-American cast,” shared Director Harry Bryce. “It was also one of the first times that Broadway paid homage to the Harlem Renaissance. Surprisingly, Bubbling Brown Sugar is not done very often so this is a wonderful, rare occasion. It’s an important selection for WBTT and reinforces the Troupe’s effort to keep African-American literature alive and present.”

The concept of the play is for two couples, one white and one black, to travel back in time and visit various Harlem nightclubs, focusing on the amazing artists of that time. It was conceived by Rosetta LeNoire, founder of Amas, a nonprofit theater group partly created to promote interracial casting. The company produced many hits, one of which was Bubbling Brown Sugar. Music in the show includes that of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and Eubie Blake, who earlier in her life was LeNoire’s music teacher.

WBTT’s show will include many recognizable actors from past performances. Of the 14 cast members, those with the most WBTT experience include Ariel Blue, Earley Dean, Chris Eisenberg, Donald Frison, Tsadok Porter, Horace Smith and Alyssa White. Those who might be new or almost new are Danae DeShazer, Nerlynn Etienne, Wellington Fordham, Derric Gobourne Jr., Lawrence Mazza, Adrienne Pitts and Kristen Wilson. Harry Bryce returns as director. Music Director is LaTerry Butler. Butler toured nationally with Bubbling Brown Sugar, working with musicians who were in the original Broadway production. Set Designer is Michael Newton-Brown; Lighting Designer is Michael Pasquini and Costume Designer is Dee White. Donald Frison is also the choreographer.

“This show features some of the most recognizable music from the period running from 1920-1940,” commented Nate Jacobs, founding artistic director of WBTT. “That said, our production has found a way to bridge the past with contemporary music styles.

Bubbling Brown Sugar has historic values, cultural values and musical history. It’s a full evening with something for everyone. We are very pleased to present this wonderful show to our Sarasota audiences.”

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 andpresently stars in Rock of Ages. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at, follow on Facebook or call 941-366-1505.