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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Theatre NOVA is Ann Arbor’s professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights. Now, coming to its stage is “The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith” by Angelo Parra and Miche Braden.
The off-Broadway musical celebrates Bessie Smith, whose life was reputed to be as “large and outrageous as her talent,” according to a press release. “The Devil’s Music” re-imagines Bessie’s final evening after she and her band are turned away by a whites-only theatre. Within that storyline, the musical is filled with some of Bessie’s all-time hits, with songs like “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “St. Louis Blues” and “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do.”
According to a press release, its mission is to “to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work,” and that’s why this selection was perfect for NOVA.
K. Edmonds plays Bessie and Brian Buckner is cast as her piano player named Pickle. The production is directed by Lynch Travis, including a production team with Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Brian Buckner (music direction), Haley Cook (costume design) and Michelle Resnick (stage manager).
“The Devil’s Music” will run March 30 through April 22, 2018, at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops. Tickets are $25, and Theatre NOVA continues its commitment to making theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them. For tickets, visit TheatreNOVA.org, call 734-635-8450 (Tuesdays through Fridays from noon until 3 p.m.), or buy them in person at the box office one hour before show time.