For Immediate Release

June 30, 2010

SARASOTA . . . The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe announces their eleventh winter season of plays, all of which will be performed in their new home, 1012 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota (Behind the BINZ building at 10th Street and Orange). The number of plays has been expanded to four and the total number of performances has increased from 36 to 112. Season subscriptions can be purchased by calling 941.366.1595 or online at wbttroupe.org. Subscriptions can cost as low as $39 for four shows on preview nights to $65 for four regular-run performances. Single tickets will go on sale October 1, 2010, and will be $25 each.

Opening December 15, 2010 and running through January 16, 2011 is a revival of the Troupe's highly popular rendition of Ain't Misbehavin'. The outrageously comic and musical soul of 1930s Harlem lives on in this rollicking, swinging, finger-snapping revue that is still considered one of Broadway's best. The inimitable Thomas ""Fats"" Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club, honky tonk dives along Lenox Avenue, rent parties, stride piano players and that jumpin' new beat, Swing. Although not quite a biography, Ain't Misbehavin' evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous.

The second play is a world premiere titled Marvin Gaye, "The Prince of Soul" - The Man and His Music, which will run January 26 to February 20, 2011. Written by Nate Jacobs, the Troupe's artistic director, this is an original musical celebrating the extraordinary life and music of singer/songwriter Marvin Gaye. The show begins in the 1950s at the start of Gaye's career with Motown and follows its twists and turns until his untimely death in the mid-80s. A gifted, innovative and enduring talent, Gaye blazed the trail for the continued evolution of popular black music from the powerful R&B to sophisticated soul to an intensely political and personal form of artistic self-expression. Rolling Stone declared Gaye one of America's greatest entertainers.

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From March 9 to April 3, 2011, the Troupe presents the talented, local entertainer Sharon Scott in a play she also wrote, Mahalia, Just As I Am. The entertaining show tells the life of Mahalia Jackson, an African-American gospel singer, and features some of her greatest hits. With her powerful contralto voice, Mahalia became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was considered the first "Queen of Gospel Music." She recorded nearly 35 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen "golds"/million-sellers.

The final show will be another world premiere, Hi De, Hi De  Ho!, Cab Calloway. It is a one-person show starring Nate Jacobs, which will run April 20, 2011 - May 15, 2011. Local playwright Larry Parr and actor/singer Nate Jacobs pair up to present a portrait of the legendary fireball of talent, Cab Calloway. Audiences will laugh and cry, sing and sway with Nate as he portrays the charismatic, award-winning singer, bandleader, actor and inventor of the "moonwalk" (fifty years before Michael Jackson). Larry Parr's plays, Hi-Hat Hattie and My Castle's Rockin' have enthralled audiences in regional theaters throughout the country and this world premiere play with music promises to be as electrifying.