1407 Euclid Avenue
Fri 2/15, Sat 2/16, Sun 2/17, Tue 2/19
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Wednesday - Saturday Evenings
Saturday and Sunday Matinees
1:30pm, Thu 2/28
Acclaimed Performer Miche Braden Stars in Bessie Smith Musical
If you were among the fortunate ones who got to witness “One Night With Janis Joplin” last summer, then you know that Cleveland Play House can deliver the goods when it comes to biographical musicals. This February, Cleveland Play House plans to rock the Allen Theatre with the resurrection of the empress of the blues when they present, “The Devil’s Music: the Life and Blues of Bessie Smith”.
Taking center stage will be Miche (pronounced “Mickey” Braden who earned a nomination for a 2012 Drama Desk Award. Miche brings all of the defiant energy and musical brilliance that followed the real Bessie Smith throughout her career of turmoil.
The Cleveland Play House production of The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, conceived and directed by Joe Brancato, is running in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare starting Friday, February 15 through Sunday, March 10, 2013. Tickets are available by calling 216-241-6000 or online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com.
The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith is sponsored by Kulas Foundation and is produced with support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council.
“The Devil’s Music was written around Miche Braden’s extraordinary talents,” says CPH Artistic Director Michael Bloom. “I can’t wait for Cleveland audiences to experience a performance that has garnered plaudits Off Broadway and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.”
ABOUT THE PLAY
The term Red Hot Mamma was virtually invented for the great blues singer Bessie Smith. Even though she was the most successful entertainer of her time, her life was one of sadness and tragedy. The show takes place on the eve of her tragic death in 1937 as she take the stage one last time to relive her amazing life and career. Sit back and soak in the real music of the blues as she performs “St. Louis Blues”, “Need Sugar in My Bowl” and “Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out.”
Born a daughter of a preacher, Bessie Smith was able to climb out of abject poverty to be one of the greatest and most influential singers of the 1920’s. Surviving a turbulent childhood, a rich lifestyle, stormy marriage, loss of her fans as well as the prevalent racial prejudices of the time, Bessie single handily brought African American Southern Blues into popular music. Recordings can still be found of “I Ain’t Got Nobody”, “Baby Doll”, “Gimme a Pigfoot” and “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do. At the height of her popularity, Bessie was not only the number one selling female African American artist, her over 160 recordings sold more copies than all other performers except Caruso and Al Jolson.
There are many famous singers who followed in her footsteps who have acknowledged their debt to this trail blazer of southern blues music. Such notables as Ethel Waters, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin have all paid tribute to her influence on their careers. In 1980, Bessie Smith was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame and, in 1989, into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Single tickets are on sale now; prices range from $49 to $69. Tickets are $15 for currently enrolled students under age 25 with valid ID. For single tickets, please call 216-241-6000 or go online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027 or email email@example.com.
About Cleveland Play House
Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.
Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
InsideCPH: "Selling a Song" – Monday, 2/25/13 @ 6:30pm – In the shower you can just sing a song, but on stage you have to sell it! Join guest artists from The Devil’s Music to find out what it takes for a musical performance to hit the right note. Event is FREE but please e-mail InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com with questions or to RSVP.
Pre-show Conversations – 45 minutes before every production. Led by CPH actors and staff, these interactive half-hour conversations pull back the curtain early to let you connect with the people, themes, ideas and creative choices that go into each production, in an engaging and relaxed setting.
Post-show Discussions – Sunday, 2/24; Tuesday, 2/26; Sunday, 3/3, 2013
A chance to interact with the cast, creative team, local experts and fellow playgoers in a lively and wide-ranging discussion of each production and the questions it raises.