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Bessie Smith News

BESSIE Soundtrack Starring Queen Latifah Now Available For Pre-Order, Out 6/2BESSIE Soundtrack Starring Queen Latifah Now Available For Pre-Order, Out 6/2
by Pat Cerasaro - May 19, 2015

Queen Latifah is Bessie Smith! (more...)

Director & Writer Dee Rees Talks About HBO Films' BESSIE, Debuting TodayDirector & Writer Dee Rees Talks About HBO Films' BESSIE, Debuting Today
by TV News Desk - May 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...)

VIDEO: Queen Latifah Talks Singing the Blues in HBO's BESSIEVIDEO: Queen Latifah Talks Singing the Blues in HBO's BESSIE
by TV News Desk - May 14, 2015

Queen Latifah sings the blude in her new film BESSIE. The multi-talented actress and singer, who produced and stars in the new HBO film, stopped by ABC's Good Morning America to talk about the film. (more...)

ZACH Theatre Casts Broadway's Original Dreamgirl, Jennifer Holliday in Sophisticated LadiesZACH Theatre Casts Broadway's Original Dreamgirl, Jennifer Holliday in Sophisticated Ladies
by BWW News Desk - May 3, 2015

With much excitement, ZACH Theatre announces that Broadway's Original Dreamgirl, Grammy and Tony award-winning JENNIFER HOLLIDAY will star in this summer's Duke Ellington musical revue Sophisticated Ladies. For its premiere production in Austin, the show will play on the Topfer Stage from July 15 - August 23, 2015 under the direction of ABE REYBOLD. (more...)

'Bessie' Star Queen Latifah to Visit CBS SUNDAY MORNING, 5/3'Bessie' Star Queen Latifah to Visit CBS SUNDAY MORNING, 5/3
by TV News Desk - May 2, 2015

Playing scenes portraying racism are difficult for actress and hip hop artist Queen Latifah, she tells Mark Strassmann in an interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD to be broadcast May 3 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. (more...)

Penguin Rep Theatre's 2015 Season to Open With SMALL WORLD, 5/15Penguin Rep Theatre's 2015 Season to Open With SMALL WORLD, 5/15
by BWW News Desk - May 1, 2015

Penguin Rep Theatre's 2015 season officially begins May 15, 2015, with the New York premiere of Small World by Frederick Stroppel, directed by artistic director Joe Brancato. (more...)

South Florida JAZZ to Present Cecile McLorin Salvant in Concert This MaySouth Florida JAZZ to Present Cecile McLorin Salvant in Concert This May
by BWW News Desk - Apr 29, 2015

South Florida JAZZ, the area's premier modern jazz organization, is thrilled to present Cecile McLorin Salvant on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM. (more...)

Official Soundtrack for HBO's BESSIE to Be Released This JuneOfficial Soundtrack for HBO's BESSIE to Be Released This June
by BWW News Desk - Apr 28, 2015

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is proud to announce the digital release of Bessie (Music from the HBO Film) on Tuesday, May 12. The official soundtrack for the upcoming HBO film will also be released on CD on Tuesday, June 2. (more...)

Milwaukee Rep Announces First Round of Casting, Creative Teams for 2015-16 SeasonMilwaukee Rep Announces First Round of Casting, Creative Teams for 2015-16 Season
by BWW News Desk - Apr 27, 2015

Milwaukee Repertory Theater announces directors, creative teams, and initial casting for 2015/16, a season featuring a Tony Award-winning musical, a play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Milwaukee playwright Ayad Akthar, and three world premieres. (more...)

13th Street Rep to Hold 'Teach-In' on Gay Theater After MAD ABOUT THE BOY, 4/2613th Street Rep to Hold 'Teach-In' on Gay Theater After MAD ABOUT THE BOY, 4/26
by BWW News Desk - Apr 20, 2015

The 13th Street Repertory Theater will present a teach-in on the history of gay musical theater, and gay songs in pop music, following the performances next Sunday (April 26th) at 2 pm and 7 pm of its current hit musical 'Mad About the Boy.' The presentation will be moderated by ASCAP Award-winning writer/director Chip Deffaa (creator of 'Mad About the Boy'), and will feature members of the cast, joined by a special surprise guest. (more...)

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...)

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