This soulful musical transports you to the 1930s and a private parlor in Memphis, where sexy and sassy Bessie Smith takes center stage. Don’t miss the amazing life and career, the loves and losses, and the great songs that made her “The Empress of the Blues.”

Content Advisory: Recommended for ages 16 and up. Contains strong language and adult themes.

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The Devil's Music

The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith

February 15 - March 9, Allen Theatre

written by Angelo Parra
conceived and directed by Joe Brancato
musical direction and performance by Miche Braden

Runtime:
Approx. 90 minutes, no intermission

Tickets

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Play Video Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Cleveland Play House production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith starring Miche Braden at the Allen  Theatre, February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo  credit: John Quilty Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni. Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni. Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni. Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni. Miche Braden as Bessie Smith in Cleveland Play House production of The  Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of  Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, at the Allen Theatre,  February 15 - March 10, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.
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My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Miche's voice was great, and more her stage presence held my attention from beginning to end. It was a clever and insightful performace. The set was beautiful, and the musicians were bangin! Excuse my slang.

- Vicki Greene-Rawls, Akron, OH

Really enjoyed the show. Very talented musicians. Beautiful theatre.

- Jody and Willie, Oakwood Village

Our first visit to the Cleveland Play House was outstanding. The music, acting, set were more fantastic. The theater itself is a treasure. Special thanks for the email prior to our visit for providing all the necessary information to make our visit a success. It was a wonderful evening in Cleveland.

- RD, Livonia, Mi.

We loved the show, the ambience and the theater itself. Great size for an intimate more experience of the music. My husband and I enjoyed every minute!

- F.LIPNICKI, PARMA HEIGHTS, OH

This show was so much more than I expected. It was highly entertaining, the more production, the set, the story, and of course Miche and the band were incredible. She really transported you to the 30s and I really felt I was spending the evening with Bessie Smith. If you missed this one, you missed a real winner! Thanks for a great evening.

- Valoree Vargo, Hudson

Miche was great as were all three musicians

good show, we were not sure we more were going to like it----but we did the Sax player was wonderful and what an insight into an era before our time

- Bob & Vicki, Mentor

The singing was amazing and the story-telling remarkable. We came away saddened by Bessie's more life, but inspired by the singing legacy that she left. Awesome rendition of her life and music! Really enjoyed how the audience was drawn into her life.

- Richard & Rhonda, Cleveland, Ohio

Great plot, great acting/singing/musicians. need I say that we had a great time ?

- Ken Hoehn, Sagamore Hills

What an incredible story ... A powerful and sensitive portrayal of Ms. Bessie Smith ... more sung with heart and played with enthusiasm. If any part of you loves the blues, this is a must see. This cast knocked it out of the park.

- Jacquie D, Lakewood, Ohio

I thought her delivery, both singing and acting, was as fine a total peformance as more I have ever seen on a stage. Simply magnificent.

- m.d.a., Beachwood

The essence of Bessie Smith was captured in this phenomenal play. I felt as if more I was truley watching Bessie as Miche Braden talked, sang and danced. I have a greater understanding of the happiness and heartache Bessie endured in her short 42 years of life. TOWANDA BESSIE SMITH!!!

- Mz Liz, Kent

I truly enjoyed the story about Bessie Smith. I was very aware of her but more I didn't know all about her history and how successful she was. We need more plays telling the story about African Americans.

- Minister Pia Angela, Cleveland

Ms.Braden captured the period, the personage, and the atmosphere perfectly. The musicians were OUTSTANDING!

- TB, Cleveland

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil's Music....



Fabulous cast did justice more to this amazing production....

- KlH, Cleveland Hts

Great story better music. Really enjoyed the band and the way the story was intertwined more with the singing. Comedic entertainment as well. Definitely recommended!

- JF, Broadview Hts

A remarkable and very enjoyable performance by all cast members; Miche Braden as Bessie Smith more was fantastic, what a terrific stage presence she displayed.

- Jim & June Martin, Lakewood

Wow! What a voice! I was blown away by the talent and more also the understated direction and script. I was moved by the story and learning about Bessie Smith in this way. I would definitely recommend the show.

- Stacy, Solon

We enjoyed the performance thanks to a great voice on the music and the musicians. more We have recommended the show to friends.

- Hikaru, Fairview Park

Absolutely fantastic performance! I highly recommend this performance to everyone and anyone who enjoys great more Blues music, true life acting with historical content! Bravo!

- M. Sandra Truett, Cleveland Heights,Ohio

An excellent performance by "Bessie Smith"

and her 3 marvelous musicians. It was more of more a "one woman'e show" than a play, but the

talent was exhuberant and marvelous.

Congratulations on another winner !!

- Joe Newman, Mayfield Heights, OH

Awesome show! What a great performance!

- John Sabin, Oberlin

Fantastic show,great songs and powerful musicians,the empress held court.

- Leonard & Diane Pinkney , Cleveland

What a voice! What an actress!! What a musical jazz combo of instrumentalists!!! more What a fanatastic evening!!!! Thanks for a spectactular performance!!!!!

- jkk, Olmsted Falls

Great show and the inside program presentation program made it even better.

Ted Mahoney

- Ted Mahoney, Cleveland

The Devil's Music was an awesome show!!!! Miche Braden is an extremely talented musician, more actor and composer. The set was fantastic and very realistic. Braden brought everyone in the audience right along with her in every song and in all the dialogue.

The jazz musicians that played with her were exceptional! It was a very informative and entertaining show. Thank You!

- LA, Aurora

We thoroughly enjoyed the show. Miche Braden was fabulous as were the musicians!
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- Wally, University Hts.

Four people just got everything right last night (2/20). For this life-long bass loving more kid - the stand up bass player was brilliant! I am telling everyone I know to see this show before it leaves!

- Carol Lee Vella, Fairview Park OH

Wow! Bessie Smith came to life in this fabulous production. Superb entertainment as well more as historic tribute to the "Empress of the Blues."

- Audrey Forrest, Westlake

The BEST production of the season!!

Miche Braden was incredible, amazing, and powerful.



The more set was beautiful. All sets at CPH are outstanding. I miss the days when the curtain opened on a set, and the audience applauded. Consider this set duly applauded!!

- L McGinty, Cleveland

This was one of the best shows I've ever seen at the theaters in Cleveland more and loved the Allen Theater - great seats, intimate setting and excellent acoustics. Great bargain for the price.

- EW, Cleveland

Bravo!!! Absolutely fabulous performance by Miche Braden. Great voice, definitely portrayed the Empress more of the Blues - we feel like we know Bessie Smith personally after "Braden's" performance. Congrats to everyone in the show. A great evening of entertainment - recommend to everyone who enjoys the Blues, along with the history of Blues, to see this show!

- Sherry & Carl, Cleveland, OH

This is one of the best musical productions I have ever seen....it was absolutely fabulous! more If I would have known it was going to be this good, I would have arranged to see it twice!

- Torrance Baker, Berea (Cleveland)

Love the musical. The actress and musicians were wonderful. The set outstanding. more Captured the feel, spirit, heart, and soul of the times. Well done. I would love to see it again.

- KCK, CLEVELAND

From the moment Miche Braden came onstage I was transported back to the final days more in the life of Bessie Smith. The story, the performances, the masterful direction all make for great theatre!

- Lorraine Billings, Cleveland Heights

Excellent production! MUsically outstanding from all the players--Miche Braden was an exceptional singer and performer more and really captured the spirit of bessie Smith. Musicians backing her were wonderful. PLAy was very rivetting and fast-moving and ni felt that we were made more aware of the times, attitudes, issues--and lifestyle in which she lived. Very good!!

- Linda Weiss, Cleveland

...fun as sin...

- Plain Dealer, Cleveland

There are four of us that come from Lorain County to enjoy the playhouse. more This had to be the whipped cream on the top of a really nice season. I could have listened to that wonderful voice for twice as long. The whole production was a joy and, as usual, the set was a work of art. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon of the biography and music of Bessie Smith and that wonderful trio.

- Carole Warren, Vermilion

I was completely overwhelmed by the stellar performance of Miche Braden. Her talent is such more that I hope she will record a CD of this music, her voice is incredible and her tribute to Bessie Smith in this show is worth seeing a second or third. It's just that good. Her backing trio of Jim Hankins on bass, George Caldwell and the amazing Keith Loftis on saxophone were fantastic in their musicality as well as interactions with Ms. Braden. If you're going to CPH for a show, this is the one to see.

- John Hoopingarner, Wadsworth, Ohio

Really enjoyed this performance! Great singing (and musicians) talent!!





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Was a fun time.

















- Nancy, Parkman

The story was told so well through song and dialogue -- but the actress/vocalist was more so exceptionally talented that she could "sell" any story! Thank you for bringing this musical to Cleveland.

- Cindy FInch, Solon

An outstanding proformance from the entire cast. Loved it!!!

- NLG, Rocky River

Great, great show, Miche Braden was magnificent, my wife and I really enjoyed this performance

- Mark, Broadview Heights

Great show. Bessie was truly an Empress.

- Juliette, Northfield

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. What a great voice - brilliantly conceived and performed - everyone in more Cleveland should see this show!

- CCP, Cleveland Heights

Outstanding show and super performance by the lead. The show received a well deserved more standing ovation.

- RSB, Pepper Pike

A Five-Star show!!! Great musicians,great songs and an unforgettable performance by Miche Braden as more Bessie. We're going to see it again

- John & Cathy Green, Strongsville

BRAVO! One of the best performances I've witnessed in years. Braden is remarkable more -- what a voice, and what a presence! AND, the 3 very talented musicians in the band were phenomenal! I'd go see the show again in a heartbeat.

- Carol, Mentor

An absolutely wonderful production. Ms. Braden was excellent in her portrayal of Bessie Smith more in her character, singing, antics, etc. The music was great and added significantly to the production. All in all it was a very enjoyable performance.



- SIS & SAS, Mayfield Village, Ohio

What a magnificent performance by the entire cast of "The Devil's Music"! The set more was exquisite and the talent amazing! How lucky we are to have The Cleveland Playhouse for fine theater experiences. If you haven't been to the Playhouse lately, please consider returning--you will not be disappointed!

- J. Welsh, Novelty

The two of us enjoyed the show very much. The set was great and the more music was very good also the story was interesting and the audience participation was a plus.

- Byron Todd, Cleveland / Rocky River

The Devil's Music was a terrific show. All four cast members were superior in more every way. Great musical performances throughout the show.

- MIke and Rose, Chardon, OH

(Braden) delivers an unforgettable performance as the unsinkable diva.

- Plain Dealer, Cleveland

Wonderful singing and live band! A very entertaining play.

- Corey Leon, Detroit

The show was excellent and so was my seat!! I love live theater...

- Kenyette, Euclid

A top-notch production! Miche Braden virtually embodies Bessie in every way - from her voice, more to her moves, down to the way she wears her clothes, but her poignant portrayal also captures the sadness behind much of her music.

- Cat Lilly, Voice Magazine, Geneva

Outstanding. music was great and took me back to my youth visiting clubs in more Greenwich Village only thing missing was smoke filled room & drink in my hand.

- Dan Bergen, Painesville

Just fabulous! Great talent! We have been trying to purchase a CD of this more show with these artists to no avail. Perfect for "blues" fans.

- PMW8, Cleveland

I enjoyed the show, and learnt more of American music and artists

- Chiara, Turin - Italy

This was an outstanding production in all areas - Bavo!

- Paul Vincent, Around Town

The music and performances of all involved were outstanding. I am a lover of more the blues and Miche (sp) was amazing. She had the voice as well as the mannerisms of Bessie Smith down pat. Thank you for a wonderful show.

- Christine Hill, Chesterland

Sexy, sassy and sizzlin'. Exceptional musicians and Miche was stupendous. Terrific entertainment more and so worth it!

- Myra Rosen, Lyndhurst

Devine!!!! Miche drew us in to Bessie's life and music---can't stop thinking about more the wonderful experience.. Thank you CPH and Kulas Corporation for bring to Cleveland such outstanding entertainment.

- Kathy, Shaker Heights

FABULOUS! I wish everyone could see it!

- Carolyn, Euclid

If you are a "blues fan" it was great, If you are not a more "blues fan" it was still great. What a voice. If only the theater was as hot as she was.

- Eugene Gordon, Pepprt Pike,Oh

We enjoyed the show very much, and thought the musicians were terrific. Miche did more very well with the role as it was designed, but we thought the role demanded "overacting," especially the scenes where she was supposed to be singing drunk. We would have liked to have her seen more complete versions of the songs, and maybe a bit less dialogue unless it was critical biographical information (which a lot of it was).

- adf, Cleveland

This was not one of my favorite plays. I am not a fan of more "the blues" and I prefer plays with more plot and substance. It is not one I would recommend.

- GB, Cleveland

Your staging was great. I liked the set very much. However, I found it exhausting more and hard on my ears to listen to the singing. The instrumentalists were fine, but it was hard for me to sit through the entire performance.

- MES, Cleveland

When I went to the see Devil's Music, I really was not looking forward more to seeing it. I thought a Jazz musical. I don't care for jazz. After seeing it, I wouldn't have missed it. I loved the music, the story , the musicians and the actor. She had a marvelous voice. It was WONDERFUL. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING IT TO THE PLAYHOUSE.

- sharon gargiulo, wickliffe oh 44092


My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Miche's voice was great,...

- Vicki Greene-Rawls, Akron, OH

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