Time for one more ’70s trip with WBTTs Dynamic Duets at Art Center Sarasota.
By Kay Kipling
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is closing out its “Soulful Serenade” season with the current show, Dynamic Duets of the ’70s. It’s not the strongest of the three-show season (which included a production featuring hits by female singers of the era followed by one highlighting the male singers), but it still provides some nostalgia and musical excitement.
The show starts off, a bit too loudly and unintelligibly, with the eight-member ensemble cast performing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing. They’re revved up, but it takes the audience a while longer to get warm; that happens around the time Jnana Wilson and Sheldon Rhoden team up on the old Marvin Gaye-Tammy Terrell hit Your Precious Love.
The format of the duet, with the singers mostly looking at each other while vocalizing, may not allow for quite as much interaction with the audience as previous shows, and the tunes are, naturally, more romantic than rousing, as they tended to be in previous shows. But there are some numbers that get people in the audience moving and clapping along; certainly the juxtaposition of Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman with Kool & the Gang’s Ladies Night is a lively one. And Peaches & Herb’s Shake Your Groove Thang is a direct invitation to everyone to get up and dance.
The cast is lively, talented and engaged throughout. So if you’re in the mood for one more trip back to the ’70s, you can get in the groove at Art Center Sarasota for selected dates through May 24. For tickets go to srqboxoffice.com.