Directed by Joe Brancato, Angelo Parra’s The Devil’s Music imagines Bessie Smith’s final night in a Memphis after-hours club, long after her heyday in the 1920s as a vaudeville performer and an early pioneer of recording and radio performances. “The Empress of the Blues” is brought to life by Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award-nominated actress Miche Braden, who rhapsodizes about Smith’s life, loves and career with the help of a live musical combo. Braden played Billie Holiday at People’s Light in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in 1988, then put together and starred in Jazz Is … there the following season. Smith’s Philadelphia funeral was attended by over 7,000 people, but her grave in Sharon Hill lacked a headstone until Janis Joplin purchased one in 1970.
Through Nov. 24, $26-$46, People’s Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, 610-644-3500, peopleslight.org.