Angelo Parra's The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith will play the New Jersey venue March 3-29, 2009. Opening night is scheduled for March 6.
Miche Braden, who portrayed Bessie Smith in previous productions of the play, will reprise her work for George Street audiences. Joe Brancato will again direct.
In a statement George Street Playhouse artistic director David Saint said, "Although one of the most successful entertainers of her time, Bessie Smith constantly faced racial discrimination at the clubs in which she performed. I was knocked out by Miche Braden's extraordinary performance in this piece and felt it would fit perfectly in our theatre."
The Devil's Music, according to press notes, "opens with a voice-over by Smith's upright bass player Pickle. The night is the eve of Smith's tragic death in a car accident in September 1937. Bessie Smith has just walked out of an engagement at a swank supper club after they wouldn't let her enter through the front door. She makes her way to the setting of the show – a 'buffet-flat' – a den of music, gambling, food and sex, where she proceeds to regale her audience with tales from her life and her many loves – both male and female – and losses, most notably that of her son in a custody battle with a vengeful ex-husband."
The production "contains adult themes and content, and is suggested for mature audiences," according to George Street. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For tickets call (732) 246-7717 or visit www.GSPonline.org.