Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 07.08.10

Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ WBTT singers spur afternoon dance party
Just one day into their new lease and already the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is sweeping audiences off their feet –– literally.

WBTT founder Nate Jacobs, Board President Howard Millman and Executive Director Christine Jennings gave board members and friends a tour last week of the company’s new home at 1012 N. Orange Ave.

Following a heartfelt speech from the ever-gracious Jacobs, troupe members serenaded guests with infectious hits from their popular “Motown ’60s Revue.” And, as if that wasn’t rousing enough, in the middle of their act, the troupe’s men pulled several female board members to their feet and spun them around the dance floor, including a blushing Mary Ann Robinson.

According to Millman, construction on the 6,500-square-foot-space will begin late this summer and is expected to be finished by Dec. 15, in time for the opening of the WBTT’s winter season.

Speaking of the troupe’s upcoming season, Jacobs announced the 2010-2011 lineup: “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” “Marvin Gaye, The Prince of Soul,” “Mahalia, Just As I Am” and the world premiere of Jacobs’ one-man show, “Hi De, Hi De Hi Ho! Cab Calloway.”

Those who don’t want to wait until December to catch a performance in the new theater should check out WBTT’s summer series, starting July 22, with another run of “Motown,” followed by “Sistas in the Name of Soul” from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22.

“My baby has been positioning itself for this moment,” gushed Jacobs. “We’ll finally be able to take our place among the giants of this theater community.”

Below: WBTT crooner Sheldon Rhoden serenades his female fans.


+ Suggestive sketches heat up Art Center
Has anyone else noticed that Art Center Sarasota has gotten sexier with old age?

The 83-year-old arts organization continues its eyebrow-raising streak with its latest installment of risqué programming, themed adult Sketch Nights, which are drop-in summer drawing sessions that include live models and range from classical to burlesque.

Last month the center played host to a model bodybuilder with this tagline: “Adonis Night. Examine the anatomy of a god up close. A muscular bodybuilder will display his assets.”

Hello, girls’ night out.

Last Thursday’s session, “Costumed Characters Night,” was supposed to feature models clad in local theater costumes, but instead featured models Seva Anthony and Jay Poindexter in exotic attire pulled from their own closets.

It’s too bad Poindexter, who donned harem pants, a vest and turban for Art Center patrons, hadn’t held onto his costume from “Cats.” Poindexter, who performed on Broadway in “Cats” and on several national tours, was also a dancer on the short-lived 1996 TV program “The Dana Carvey Show.”

Anthony and Poindexter often pose nude for illustration and fine-art majors at Ringling College of Art and Design.

And, in case you think it’s easy to hold a pose for three hours in front of a crowd, Anthony, a former New York City ballet dancer, actress and Las Vegas aerialist, explains otherwise.

“If you stare off into space long enough, you fall asleep,” Anthony says. “It takes a sense of body awareness. You need to know what to do when you’re up there. An interesting pose looks good from all angles.”

Anthony says she often poses with her Bichon Frisé, Brise. Her little companion helps keep her awake during long poses.

Below: Seva Anthony and Jay Poindexter


 + WBTT rocks the house (VIDEO)

Performers from the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe broke into song and dance Wednesday afternoon following a press preview of their new theater at 1012 North Orange Avenue. Check out the moves on local radio personality Lynne Bernfield as she boogies with Leon Pitts II. 
Scroll down for video.

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