Bessie Smith News

Birth Place: Chattanooga, TN, USA
Gender: Female
Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Continues Season with A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLINPhoto Flash: Laguna Playhouse Continues Season with A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
by BWW News Desk - Aug 20, 2017

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce the second show in the Laguna Playhouse 2017-2018 and 97th season with the Tony nominated rock and roll musical, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, in Association with the Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol of JAM, Inc., with musical direction by Todd Olson and written and directed by Randy Johnson. (more...)

BWW Feature: Strong Women Get Their Due on Stage in AugustBWW Feature: Strong Women Get Their Due on Stage in August
by Ellen Dostal - Aug 11, 2017

If you were captivated by the film Hidden Figures and its story of the women known as 'human computers' who saved John Glenn's NASA space mission, get ready for Lauren Gunderson's play SILENT SKY, opening this month at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. (more...)

Fantasia Comes to 59E59 Theaters as SMALL WORLD Imagines a Meeting Between Walt Disney and StravinskyFantasia Comes to 59E59 Theaters as SMALL WORLD Imagines a Meeting Between Walt Disney and Stravinsky
by BWW News Desk - Aug 8, 2017

59E59 Theaters (Val Day, Artistic Director; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) is thrilled to host the New York City premiere of SMALL WORLD, written by Frederick Stroppel and directed by Joe Brancato. Produced by Penguin Rep, SMALL WORLD begins performances on Wednesday, September 13 for a limited engagement through Saturday, October 7.  Press opening is Sunday, September 17 at 7:15 PM.  The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:15 PM; Friday at 8:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM & 8:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:15 PM & 7:15 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $25 - $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.  (more...)

FST Summer Season Closes with a ROAR!FST Summer Season Closes with a ROAR!
by BWW News Desk - Aug 4, 2017

Roar! The Music of the 1920s and Beyond. This sassy songbird sings audiences through the end of summer in the John C. Court Cabaret from August 22 through September 24. Tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office. (more...)

Mosaic Theater Company of DC Kicks Off Third Season with its First MusicalMosaic Theater Company of DC Kicks Off Third Season with its First Musical
by BWW News Desk - Aug 3, 2017

Mosaic Theater Company of DC, the 2017 Helen Hayes Award-winning theatre for Outstanding Emerging Company, will begin its 2017-2018 season with the Off-Broadway hit The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith. Written by Angelo Parra and performed by the indomitable Miche Braden (who also directed and arranged the music) and directed by Joe Brancato, this boisterous show featuring thirteen songs tells the story of Bessie Smith's final performance after she and her band are turned away from a whites-only theatre in 1937 Memphis. Previews begin August 24 with a press opening of Monday, August 28, and the show runs through September 24, with a potential extension week through October 1. (more...)

BWW Feature: PRIMAL FORCES RETURNS at EMPIRE STAGE AND ANDREWS LIVING ARTS CENTERBWW Feature: PRIMAL FORCES RETURNS at EMPIRE STAGE AND ANDREWS LIVING ARTS CENTER
by John Lariviere - Jul 27, 2017

Primal Forces Returns with a New Season of Provocative Plays. Keith Garsson Brings Dark and Edgy Works to Empire Stage and Andrews Living Arts.  Primal Forces (www.primalforces.com), the theatrical production company focusing on dark and edgy subject matter returns to Fort Lauderdale this fall with a brand-new season focusing on, what else? Sex! The 2017-2018 season will consist of three new plays, including the world-premiere of Speed Queen written by international cabaret star, Phoebe Legere. (more...)

Laguna Playhouse presents A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLINLaguna Playhouse presents A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
by BWW News Desk - Jul 26, 2017

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce the second show in the Laguna Playhouse 2017-2018 and 97th season with the Tony nominated rock and roll musical, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, in Association with the Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol of JAM, Inc., with musical direction by Todd Olson and written and directed by Randy Johnson. (more...)

Mosaic Theater Company of D.C. Announces Expansion of Staff and Unveils Special Event SeriesMosaic Theater Company of D.C. Announces Expansion of Staff and Unveils Special Event Series
by BWW News Desk - Jul 25, 2017

Mosaic Theater Company of DC, the 2017 Helen Hayes Award-winning theatre for Outstanding Emerging Company, proudly announces an expansion of its senior artistic leadership team with the addition of Victoria Murray Baatin as Associate Artistic Director.  The Mosaic Board has also recently elected Bill Tompkins as its Chair. Outgoing Board Chair Deborah Carliner, who has served Mosaic since its Inaugural Season, will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. (more...)

Photo Coverage: Wild Card Productions' LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILLPhoto Coverage: Wild Card Productions' LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jul 18, 2017

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, writer Lanie Robertson's insightful and moving look at jazz legend Billie Holiday and her life and career, continues its run at Brentwood's Towne Centre Theatre. Directed by Dave Ragland and starring Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva in her stunning onstage transformation to become Lady Day, it's one of the highlights of an especially impressive Nashville theater season filled with strong performances and shows both challenging and introspective. (more...)

BWW Review: Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's Dazzling and Stunning Billie Holiday Can't Be MissedBWW Review: Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's Dazzling and Stunning Billie Holiday Can't Be Missed
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jul 17, 2017

Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's miraculous transformation into music legend Billie Holiday may well be the performance of 2017, theater-wise, in a city where we revere and venerate our favorite vocalists. But in Music City, where live theater is often perceived as a mere afterthought by the entertainment establishment, oftentimes performances such as hers may be given short shrift, overlooked by the so-called powers-that-be whose tastes tend toward the middle of the road, pop-infused, sound-like-everyone else, cookie cutter variety of singers. (more...)

A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Plays Final Week at A.C.T.'s Geary TheaterA NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Plays Final Week at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater
by BWW News Desk - Jul 10, 2017

American Conservatory Theater's (A.C.T.) critically acclaimed production of A Night with Janis Joplin ends its six-week run this Sunday, July 16 following two extensions and resounding critical and audience response. The performance schedule for the final week is as follows: Wednesday, July 12 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, July 13 at 8 p.m.; Friday, July 14 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 15 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Good seats for all remaining performances are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or visiting www.act-sf.org. (more...)

Tickets on Sale for Harris Center's 2017-18 Season, Featuring DIRTY DANCING, Los Lobos, Mannheim Steamroller and MoreTickets on Sale for Harris Center's 2017-18 Season, Featuring DIRTY DANCING, Los Lobos, Mannheim Steamroller and More
by BWW News Desk - Jul 10, 2017

Bringing great shows from around the world, across the country and throughout the region, the Harris Center for the Arts' new 2017-18 season is on sale now. (more...)

Tank and The Bangas Confirm Additional North American Tour DatesTank and The Bangas Confirm Additional North American Tour Dates
by BWW News Desk - Jul 6, 2017

Acclaimed band Tank and The Bangas confirm additional headlining North American tour dates in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, D.C. as well as festival appearances at Austin City Limits, Pickathon, Hullabaloo Festival and more. See below for complete tour details. (more...)

BWW Interview: Carole J. Bufford Discusses the Fearless Females of the 1960s and Her Celebration of Them at Feinstein's/54 BelowBWW Interview: Carole J. Bufford Discusses the Fearless Females of the 1960s and Her Celebration of Them at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Ashley Steves - Jul 6, 2017

One of the country's most vibrant eras in music, in general and especially for women, was the 1960s, filled to the brim with girl groups like The Chantels and The Supremes, folk pioneers like Joan Baez, and songwriters so influential that, decades later, that musical written about them keeps filling its Broadway house to capacity for close to four years (Carole King, of course). In the midst of political and public unrest, in a male-dominated world and industry, these women made space and carved out their own spots in music history. Who better to spotlight these singers and songwriters than Carole J. Bufford, who has carved out her own spot within the New York cabaret scene as an enthusiastic and rich interpreter of the Jazz Age songbook, and returned to the circuit with something a little different: YOU DON'T OWN ME: THE FEARLESS FEMALES OF THE 1960S, a celebration of the 'bold and daring women [who] planted their flags and ensured their voices were heard.' And as it turns out, it's not only Bufford's most fearless show, but also one of her best. (more...)

Edward Albee's Unfinished Works Will Be Destroyed at His RequestEdward Albee's Unfinished Works Will Be Destroyed at His Request
by BWW News Desk - Jul 5, 2017

The late, great playwright Edward Albee is curating his legacy posthumously via "dead hand control." (more...)

BWW Review: TWAS THE HAPPIEST HOUR BEFORE PRIDE at The Duplex Comes Together for A Good CauseBWW Review: TWAS THE HAPPIEST HOUR BEFORE PRIDE at The Duplex Comes Together for A Good Cause
by Jamara Wakefield - Jun 30, 2017

TWAS THE HAPPIEST HOUR BEFORE PRIDE, a mix of comedy stand-up, ballads, and spoken word poetry, took the stage at The Duplex on June 24 to celebrate NYC Pride and fundraise for a good cause. (more...)

BWW Review: LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, Wyndham's TheatreBWW Review: LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, Wyndham's Theatre
by Marianka Swain - Jun 27, 2017

One American great inhabits another in this superior cabaret, as the Broadway legend Audra McDonald slips into the skin - and unforgettable voice - of jazz icon Billie Holiday. The emotional sensitivity makes it far more than just an immensely skilful impersonation, and makes McDonald's delayed West End debut well worth the wait. (more...)

A.C.T. Announces Final Extension of A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN; Tickets Now On Sale Through 7/16A.C.T. Announces Final Extension of A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN; Tickets Now On Sale Through 7/16
by BWW News Desk - Jun 26, 2017

Due to unprecedented ticket demand and widespread critical acclaim, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) has announced the second and final extension of A Night with Janis Joplin at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater (415 Geary St.). Tickets are on sale now through Sunday, July 16, 2017. Receiving the highest rating by the San Francisco Chronicle, A Night with Janis Joplin is a 'transcendent' (San Francisco Chronicle) and 'intoxicating' (SFist.com) musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences-icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone, and Bessie Smith-who inspired one of rock and roll's greatest legends. Hailed as 'a psychedelic flashback to the glory days of Haight-Ashbury' (Bay Area News Group), A Night with Janis Joplin features such unforgettable songs as 'Me and Bobby McGee,' 'Piece of My Heart,' 'Mercedes Benz,' 'Cry Baby,' 'Summertime,' and more! Tickets for all performances are available at the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. (more...)

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Rocks the Geary TheatreBWW Review: A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Rocks the Geary Theatre
by Robert Sokol - Jun 26, 2017

While not particularly illuminating on the life of the singer, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN (now extended to July 9) delivers powerful vocal performances from Kacee Clanton and a strong supporting cast including Sharon Brown. (more...)

Sale of Edward Albee's Estate Will Benefit His FoundationSale of Edward Albee's Estate Will Benefit His Foundation
by BWW News Desk - Jun 25, 2017

The New York Times is reporting that Albee's museum-worthy collection of fine art, which includes works by Arp, Kandinsky, and more, will be sold at auction. The money will then be donated to The Edward Albee Foundation, an institution that provides residency to emerging artists in Montauk. The collection is valued at over $9 million. (more...)

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