Sarasota's Got "Nothin' But The Blues" Through May 12
Posted by See Sarasota Live on
It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues has been described as “the best party of the season,” and it’s being performed nightly through May 12 by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in downtown Sarasota.
It’s a fabulous musical revue that traces with nearly 40 songs the history of the blues from its African origins through the 19th-century Southern spirituals to the captivating songs and artists of postwar Harlem, St. Louis, and Chicago. It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues is also a flashy, high-energy stage production that in 1999 received four Tony Award nominations. The show both celebrates the blues and honors a number of revered blues artists including Ethel Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, and B.B. King.
Director/choreographer Harry Bryce has led dance companies in Richmond, Virginia, and in Atlanta, founded the Memphis Black Repertory Theatre, and received the 2000 Carter G. Woodson Award of Merit for Lifetime Achievements in Performing Arts. It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues is the 7th show that Bryce has directed and choreographed for the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT).
WBTT was founded in December 1999 by Nate Jacobs, who is now the Troupe’s Artistic Director. Actor, singer, director, and playwright too, Jacobs has worked for more than a quarter-century in the Sarasota community mentoring, teaching, and nurturing talented young artists. WBTT is the Florida west coast’s only professional black theater company. WBTT has produced scores productions at its downtown Sarasota home; the Troupe has performed across Florida and has even traveled to Switzerland and Germany. WBTT is known for high-quality, highly-edifying, and flawlessly-produced performances. It’s also been the launching pad for several up-and-coming stars; former Troupe member Teresa Stanley is currently in the Broadway production Rock of Ages, and Chris Eisenberg was featured on the television show America’s Got Talent.
The WBTT Theatre features only 160 seats and is designed so that every seat provides a clear and close-up view of the performances. Note that tickets must be purchased in advance: online, by phone (941-366-1505), or at WBTT’s business office in the Palm Tower building at 1343 Main Street downtown. Business office hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. No tickets will be available at the door. The WBTT Theatre is located at 1646 – 10th Way in downtown Sarasota, about a quarter-mile east of the Tamiami Trail. It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues runs through May 12, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Doors open one hour before show time. The WBTT Theatre is handicapped-friendly and provides plenty of free parking.