Arts & Culture

'Soul Crooners' opens in Tampa

There are no performances at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's space this week, but you can still catch a WBTT show if you want to.

"Soul Crooners," the cabaret show created a few years back by WBTT founding artistic director Nate Jacobs, is getting a new life at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Its two-week run in the Jaeb Theatre starts today.

Jacobs' revue celebrates the soul music of the 1970s. Among the classic songs that are included are Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and James Brown's "I Feel Good." That's just a small sampling: the show includes more than 40 hit songs, all performed live.

Tickets have been selling briskly. More than a week before the show was scheduled to open, organizers at the Straz Center extended the run for an additional week to accommodate the demand.

Coincidentally, while "Soul Crooners" plays at the Straz, its sequel, "Soul Crooners II," will be on stage at the National Black Theatre Conference in North Carolina.

Details: June 18-28, Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets: $27.50 plus service charge. Information: 813-229-7827,

-- Marty Clear