The Death of Bessie Smith

February 2, 2001.By Pioneer Press.

Theater Latte Da tackles Edward Albee’s rarely produced play in this new production, which blends the music of “Empress of Blues” Bessie Smith (sung by local jazz artist Shirley Witherspoon) with a drama about personal responsibility, racism and the power of art. Peter Rothstein directs, and pianist Dan Chouinard is music director. The story focuses on staff members of a Memphis hospital in 1937 who refused to admit Smith after she was injured in a car accident.