Guests will enjoy lite bites, open bar and exclusive performance before company leaves for National Black Theatre Festival

SARASOTA, FL – In advance of its August appearance at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present an exclusive sneak peek of the show the company will perform at the Festival, Soul Crooners 2. The event – which is being held to help raise money to defray the expenses that will be incurred for the week-long Festival – takes place on Sunday, July 26, 5-7pm at the WBTT Theatre (1646 10th Way, Sarasota). Morton’s Gourmet Market is the sponsor.

Soul Crooners 2 was created after the sold-out success of its original production of the Soul Crooners musical revue in 2011. WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs found more songs and crafted the moves for Soul Crooners 2, which includes songs by Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Smokey Robinson, among many others. In addition to tunes by those artists, the song list includes such hits as “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, “Turn Off the Lights” by Teddy Pendergrass and “Soul Man” by Sam & Dave.

“While we are thrilled and honored to be one of only 30 companies invited to attend and perform at the National Black Theatre Festival, the expenses are daunting for an organization our size,” said Jacobs, who will be receiving the prestigious “Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award” during the Festival’s opening night gala. “It is only because of the support and enthusiasm of our community that WBTT has enjoyed its current success; we hope that the community will join us at this event and give generously to help us share our passion and talents with the rest of the world during the National Black Theatre Festival.”

In the cast of Soul Crooners 2 are lead singers Jacobs, Christopher Eisenberg, Michael Mendez, Leon Pitts II and Sheldon Rhoden. Playing the role of "Cedric Soul Child" is Emmanuel Avraham. Featured dancer is Derrick Gobourne. Music director is James Dodge II.

Cost for the event is $75/person; includes lite bites from Morton’s, open bar with beer and wine, and a one-hour performance of musical numbers from the show. RSVP requested by July 20 to (941) 366-1505, press “1” for the Box Office. Those who are not able to attend but still wish to donate to the cause are asked to call Debra at (941) 366-1505, ext. 106.

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, 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 or call (941) 366-1505.