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Bessie Smith News

HBO to Debut BESSIE, Starring Queen Latifah, 5/16HBO to Debut BESSIE, Starring Queen Latifah, 5/16
by TV News Desk - Apr 15, 2015

?Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah (“Chicago”) stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama BESSIE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees (“Pariah”) from a screenplay by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. (more...)

HBO Launches 'Bessie's 81 Theatre Tour' Event Series to Celebrate Upcoming BiopicHBO Launches 'Bessie's 81 Theatre Tour' Event Series to Celebrate Upcoming Biopic
by TV News Desk - Apr 15, 2015

In anticipation of the HBO film, 'Bessie,' chronicling the life of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, HBO announces the launch of 'Bessie's 81 Theatre Tour' on April 28. (more...)

Penguin Rep Theatre's 2015 Season to Include 'ASHER LEV,' 'DR. RUTH' & MorePenguin Rep Theatre's 2015 Season to Include 'ASHER LEV,' 'DR. RUTH' & More
by BWW News Desk - Apr 13, 2015

Penguin Rep Theatre, under the leadership of founding artistic director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, announces its 2015 season, the professional Equity company's 38th at its home in Stony Point (Rockland County), New York. (more...)

Exclusive: 13th Street Theater to Celebrate Bessie Smith This WeekendExclusive: 13th Street Theater to Celebrate Bessie Smith This Weekend
by BWW News Desk - Apr 13, 2015

The 13th Street Repertory Theater will honor the woman widely considered to be the world's greatest blues singer by making Sunday, April 19th, 'Bessie Smith Day.' The theater will be offering free admission to its new hit show, 'Mad About the Boy' (which includes a tribute to Smith) to anyone who can sing a chorus of a song recorded by Smith. ASCAP award-winning playwright/director Chip Deffaa, who's created and produced 'Mad About the Boy,' will also award prizes to those who do the best job of singing Smith's songs. Deffaa--who profiled Smith in the book 'Harlem Speaks: A Living History of the Harlem Renaissance' (Sourcebooks, Inc.) and has lectured on her (most recently at the University of Idaho)--will be the judge, assisted by members of his theater company. (more...)

Mary Bridget Davies to Reprise Tony-Nominated Role in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Pasadena PlayhouseMary Bridget Davies to Reprise Tony-Nominated Role in A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at Pasadena Playhouse
by BWW News Desk - Apr 10, 2015

The Pasadena Playhouse announces the return engagement of A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN with Mary Bridget Davies, following her Tony Award nominated Broadway run. The acclaimed musical will perform July 21 - August 16, 2015 with the official press night on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Tickets for A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN are now on sale to the public. (more...)

VIDEO: First Trailer for HBO's Bessie Smith Biopic, Starring Queen LatifahVIDEO: First Trailer for HBO's Bessie Smith Biopic, Starring Queen Latifah
by TV News Desk - Apr 3, 2015

Starring Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah ("Chicago") in the title role, BESSIE focuses on legendary blues singer Bessie Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today. Check out the first trailer for the film below! (more...)

Steve Martin, Joan Baez & More Added to National Recording RegistrySteve Martin, Joan Baez & More Added to National Recording Registry
by BWW News Desk - Mar 25, 2015

National Recording Registry To “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”. Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin Recordings Named American Treasures (more...)

STAGE TUBE: First Teaser for HBO's Bessie Smith Biopic, Starring Queen LatifahSTAGE TUBE: First Teaser for HBO's Bessie Smith Biopic, Starring Queen Latifah
by Stage Tube - Mar 13, 2015

The HBO film BESSIE is scheduled to debut SATURDAY, MAY 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO. This marks a return to the network for Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah following her Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning performance in HBO Films' “Life Support.” (more...)

BWW Interviews: FRAWLEY BECKER Discusses His Play Tiger by the Tail To Open Tonight at Group repBWW Interviews: FRAWLEY BECKER Discusses His Play Tiger by the Tail To Open Tonight at Group rep
by Don Grigware - Mar 6, 2015

FRAWLEY BECKER is a published book and short story author and a published and three-time prize-winning playwright. A man of many talents, he was a State Department Entertainment Director for military bases outside Paris during the Cold War, founded the first African-American theatre company within the U.S. military in 1959, formed Paris Playhouse in 1963 and was the first to professionally produce Edward Albee plays in France. For the next ten years he worked as a bilingual dialogue coach in films while living in Paris, coaching Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Rex Harrison, Omar Sharif, Jacqueline Bisset, Ann-Margret, Samantha Eggar, Robert Ryan, Gene Wilder and all the Oompa-Loompas of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Back in the U.S., Becker worked as a location manager for features including Jerry Maguire, Steel Magnolias, and the original Footloose, and TV movies for Oprah Winfrey Presents; and was a production executive at The Disney Studios. His award-winning, searing drama 'Tiger by the Tail' has its west coast premiere March 6 through April 19 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood, CA. For more information about the play please visit http://www.thegrouprep.com (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look - Queen Latifah & More to Star in HBO Film's BESSIEPhoto Flash: First Look - Queen Latifah & More to Star in HBO Film's BESSIE
by TV News Desk - Feb 24, 2015

HBO has confirmed the debut date for BESSIE, with the HBO Films presentation scheduled to debut SATURDAY, MAY 16 at 8:00 p.m.(ET/PT) on HBO. Check out photos from the film below! (more...)

HBO Films to Debut BESSIE Starring Queen Latifah, 5/16HBO Films to Debut BESSIE Starring Queen Latifah, 5/16
by TV News Desk - Feb 24, 2015

?HBO has confirmed the debut date for BESSIE, with the HBO Films presentation scheduled to debut SATURDAY, MAY 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO. (more...)

Milwaukee Rep Sets 2015-16 Season: DREAMGIRLS, World Premieres & More!Milwaukee Rep Sets 2015-16 Season: DREAMGIRLS, World Premieres & More!
by BWW News Desk - Feb 17, 2015

Artistic Director Mark Clements announced Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2015/16 Season last night to an enthusiastic group of Rep Subscribers and Donors. (more...)

Three World Premieres, Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND and More Set for Milwaukee Rep's 2015-16 SeasonThree World Premieres, Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND and More Set for Milwaukee Rep's 2015-16 Season
by BWW News Desk - Feb 16, 2015

Artistic Director Mark Clements announced Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2015/16 Season this evening to an enthusiastic group of Rep Subscribers and Donors. (more...)

BWW Reviews: FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE, STORY LIGHT, Musically Big at Cleveland Play HouseBWW Reviews: FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE, STORY LIGHT, Musically Big at Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - Jan 29, 2015

Cleveland Play House has in its recent history included small cast musicals in its offerings. Those shows included TAPPIN' THROUGH LIFE (Maurice Hines), BREATH AND IMAGINATION (Roland Hayes), WOODY SEZ; LIFE AND MUSIC OF WOODY GUTHRIE (Woody Guthrie), THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BESSIE SMITH (Bessie Smith), and ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN (Janis Joplin). Each told a story about the person through their own words, their music, or from the mouths of those who knew them. Often they have been tied to Black History Month. (more...)

BWW Reviews: BESSIE'S BLUES Bless AudiencesBWW Reviews: BESSIE'S BLUES Bless Audiences
by Alan Katz - Jan 29, 2015

Some plays are so good, or so popular with audiences, that their return to the stage is inevitable. But some plays, like high velocity music revue Bessie's Blues, take quite awhile to flow back from their ebb. (more...)

Bessie's Blues Returns After 20 years MetroStage Celebrates Return with Original Cast Members Bernardine Mitchell and Roz White Jan 22-Mar 15, 2015Bessie's Blues Returns After 20 years MetroStage Celebrates Return with Original Cast Members Bernardine Mitchell and Roz White Jan 22-Mar 15, 2015
by BWW News Desk - Jan 17, 2015

Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin has announced that the award-winning musical by Thomas W. Jones II Bessie's Blues will be on stage at MetroStage beginning Jan. 22, 2015. Thomas W. Jones II will direct and choreograph, and William Knowles will music direct. A musical odyssey of African American people in the 20th century, it was ground-breaking in 1994 and is a perfect production for our stage as we celebrate our first 30 years. (more...)

Queen Latifah Stars as 'Bessie Smith' for HBO Films This SpringQueen Latifah Stars as 'Bessie Smith' for HBO Films This Spring
by Movies News Desk - Jan 8, 2015

Oscar nominee Queen Latifah ('Chicago') stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama BESSIE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees ('Pariah') from a screenplay by Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into 'The Empress of the Blues,' one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today. (more...)

Opera Exposure Presents 10th Anniversary Holiday Concert, 12/21Opera Exposure Presents 10th Anniversary Holiday Concert, 12/21
by BWW News Desk - Dec 13, 2014

Opera Exposures, the not-for-profit opera company founded in 2004 by Edna Greenwich, will celebrate the end of its tenth year with a holiday concert on Sunday, December 21, 2014, at 3 PM at the same venue where it all began for the company in February 2004 - St. Marks Church in the Bowery, 131 East Tenth Street at Second Avenue in Manhattan. (more...)

Theatrical Outfit Presents THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI and A CHRISTMAS MEMORY, Now thru 12/23Theatrical Outfit Presents THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI and A CHRISTMAS MEMORY, Now thru 12/23
by BWW News Desk - Dec 4, 2014

Theatrical Outfit continues its 'Season of Compassion' with the uplifting musical The Gifts of the Magi and storytelling event A Christmas Memory, which explores the compassion needed and realized when people really love each other and can triumphantly navigate adversity. (more...)

Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant Makes Segerstrom Center Debut This WeekendVocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant Makes Segerstrom Center Debut This Weekend
by BWW News Desk - Nov 14, 2014

Segerstrom Center welcomes emerging vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant in four powerful performances this weekend, November 14 & 15 in Samueli Theater and will be accompanied by virtuoso pianist/composer Aaron Diehl. (more...)

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