WBTT announces 2014-15 season

mclear@bradenton.comMarch 9, 2014 

A Motown-flavored musical about a talking man eating-plant, a drama about Harlem Renaissance and a musical based on works by Zora Neale Hurston are all on tap for the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

The Sarasota company recently announced its 2014-15 season, which it's calling "Love, Laughter and Legends."

It gets going Oct. 15-Nov. 16 with "Little Shop of Horrors," the 1982 Alan Menken romp based on the old Roger Corman movie about Audrey, a plant with an appetite for human flesh.

The musical was a huge hit off Broadway and has become a staple for theaters all over the country, largely because of its exuberant score that summons Motown and other pop music of the '60s.

WBTT's holiday show is Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity, " Dec. 3-21, a re-telling of the traditional Nativity story with an African-American cast and familiar seasonal songs performed in a gospel style. It was an Off-Broadway hit in the early 1960s, and last year was adapted into a film starring Forest Whittaker and Angela Bassett.

The one non-musical in the season is "Knock Me a Kiss," a drama about the marriage of W.E.B. DuBois' daughter to one of most talented poets of the Harlem Renaissance. It's scheduled to run Jan. 7-Feb. 8.

"Jazz Hot Mamas," a new revue by WBTT artistic director Nate Jacobs, salutes the women performers of the jazz era, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Etta Jones and Peggy Lee. It's set for Feb. 25-March 29.

Ending the season will be "Spunk," an Obie Award-winning musical adaptation of three short Hurston stories. WBTT will present it April 15-May 17, 2015.

Season tickets should to go on sale in the spring. Subscriptions will sell for $90 each for the four main season shows. Individual tickets will go on sale in the fall and will cost $29.50 each; $15 for students with ID.

"Black Nativity" isn't part of the regular season, so it's ticketed separately, at $35 general admission or $15 for students.

For information, call 941-366-1505 or go to www.wbttroupe.com.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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