SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is thrilled to continue its “Light Up the Night!” open-air concert series with “Sistas in the Name of Soul.” This celebration of the female soul and R&B artists of the ‘70s (and some from the late ‘60s) will run from Saturday, May 8 through Sunday, June 6.
Featured vocalists for the show are Ariel Blue, Syreeta Shonteé, Delores McKenzie and Stephanie Zandra. Audiences will enjoy hits by renowned artists such as Freda Payne, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Donna Summer and The Pointer Sisters. Favorites will include “I’m So Excited,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Respect,” “Bad Girl” and “Band of Gold,” among many others. The performance will be enhanced by brand new dance routines created by WBTT’s Resident Choreographer Donald Frison.
The “Sistas” performers will be backed by WBTT’s electrifying live band. For this show, the music director is Brennan Stylez, who also plays keyboard, Lynette Williams on auxiliary keys, Brad Foutch on guitar, Mathew McKinnon on bass, and Etienne “EJ” Porter and Mike Andrews taking turns on drums.
“Given the need to perform outdoors as well as our desire to uplift and energize audiences, we are reinvigorating past popular musical revues,” said Nate Jacobs, WBTT’s Founder/Artistic Director. “I created and adapted this show for its world premiere in 2008 and we brought it back as a summer sizzler in 2010; we know audiences are going to love seeing our powerhouse performers while hearing truly wonderful music recorded by groundbreaking female artists.”
The artists will perform under the awning along the west side of the theater building, while patrons watch from the closest areas of the parking lot. Chairs within painted 6-foot circles – to ensure safe social distancing – will accommodate one or two guests within each circle. Tickets will be sold in two-week increments to accommodate exchanges for inclement weather. Tickets must be purchased online by noon the day of the performance; there will be no door sales. There will be temperature checks at the gate and masks will be required.
“Although conditions aren’t quite right for a return to our stage, our patrons are telling us that they are loving our outdoor venue,” said WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. “Our WBTT men have owned the stage for our initial ‘Light Up the Night!’ offering – now we’re thrilled to give the women of WBTT their chance to shine!”
Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. “Light Up the Night!” tickets are $40/person with seating in socially distanced parties of one or two. Go to westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.
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. Its mission is to produce professional theater that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.