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The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith @ Stackner Cabaret

  • February 28, 2016
  • 2:00 PM
  • Milwaukee
  • 3


Guest Registration Fee: $94.00

Members must register their own guests. One guest per member. If you have more than one guest, check with trip organizer near registration deadline.

Registration Deadline: February 24
(Please note that if you cancel after the registration deadline, there is no refund.)

Independent Study Fees:
$34 PLATO Member and No Guest
$78 PLATO Member Plus Guest
$44 UWRA Guest

Independent Study Registration Deadline: February 24

Independent Study Limit: 44
Registration is closed

Join us for The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith- the fourth play in our seven-play Milwaukee Rep field trip series. It will be staged in true cabaret fashion.

The Stackner Cabaret provides a lighter version of live theater. Located on the 2nd Floor, this venue is much more intimate and very close to the stage and the performers. You will be seated at tables with wait staff, from whom which you can order appetizers, snacks and beverages from its full bar service. (124 Seating Capacity)



The Devil’s Music:
The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith

BY Angelo Parra




All the legendary music you know, as if Bessie Smith were here herself.

Laughter and bawdiness come together to deliver an entertaining and unforgettable afternoon as “The Empress of the Blues,” Bessie Smith, gives an after-hours show and recounts a life as large and outrageous as her talent. The Devil’s Music features the incomparable Zonya Love, who last season brought the house down as Celie in The Color Purplesinging such hits as  “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Baby Doll,” and “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do.

What’s The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith? Should I see it?
If you liked Ain’t Misbehavin’ or Low Down Dirty Blues, you’re going to love this. The blues is just fun to listen to and easy to like! Even if you aren’t familiar with the song titles, you’ll recognize the music from one of the greatest blues artists!

YouTube video:  A short Biography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT4z847-hyc

A short biography of Bessie Smith, the blues singer who hit the theater circuit at the age of 18, touring in minstrel shows and cabarets. She eventually started her own revue, which showcased her distinctive voice and established Smith as one of the greatest female blues singer to ever live.

To learn more about The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, explore the Milwaukee Rep’s webpage: http://www.milwaukeerep.com/On-Stage/2015-16-Season/The-Devils-Music-The-Life-and-Blues-of-Bessie-Smith/

The Milwaukee Rep’s production of The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith opens January 22. The running time is approximately two hours (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM) with one intermission.

Registration Limit: 66

Registration Deadline: January 28


Skip the cabaret and pursue your own cultural or educational interests. Popular alternatives include
(but not limited to):

  • Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) and its new galleries
  • Explore the Historic Third Ward
  • Enjoy the day with your Milwaukee friend or relative

$34.00 - PLATO Member and No Guest

$78.00 - PLATO Member Plus Guest

$44.00 - UWRA Guest

Registration Deadline: February 28

Registration Limit: 44

Non-Member Policy.  Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

                                                                                                                                     Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we recommend that you bring a friend to give you a hand. Thirty-five percent (44 seats) of the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret is handicapped accessible. There are three stepdown rows for the remaining seating leading to the stage without handrail support.

Directions to the Stackner Cabaret: From the Milwaukee Rep’s Wells Street entrance, walk straight ahead to the atrium dome. The Stackner Cabaret is located on the 2nd floor. Take the elevator or escalator. From the 2nd floor elevator exit, walk around to the left into the promenade. From the escalator, you arrive in the promenade. Stackner Cabaret entrance is on the left.


PLATO Member Cost: 

$79.00 Lunch is on your own                                          

Non-Member Guest of a Member Cost:

$94.00 Lunch is on your own

Fee includes: Badger Bus with Wi-Fi and Theater Ticket. Lunch is on Your Own.

Member Extra Ticket Purchase: $46

For Non-Member Guest who will meet you in Milwaukee

Free Time from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM


 Enjoy Sunday Bunch or Lunch and Explore Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward


There are many nearby Third Ward restaurants from which to choose, including the Milwaukee Public Market that contains eight distinctive eateries.

For other nearby cafes and restaurants (including maps), go to:http://www.menuism.com/cities/us/wi/milwaukee/n/historic-third-ward


Historic Third Ward Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Guide: Fall 2015 (with location directory p. 30 and map p. 31), go to: http://www.historicthirdward.org/documents/HTWG_Fall15_Lo.pdf


Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss

the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Milwaukee on time to begin our adventure.

– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.


Leave Madison


9:30 AM         Bus  1 arrives at Oakwood University Woods to begin boarding.

(Please allow trip organizers to get set up before entering the bus.)

Bus 1 departs for Milwaukee as soon as everyone is aboard


9:30 AM         Bus 2 Arrives at Capitol Lakes

(Please allow trip organizers to get set up before entering the bus.)

9:50 AM      Bus 2 Arrives at East Towne Shopko

10:00 AM       Bus 2 Departs for Milwaukee (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)

In Milwaukee

11:30 AM      Bus 1 & 2 Arrive Milwaukee Public Market and other nearby Third Ward restaurants

11:30 AM      Free time for Sunday Brunch or Lunch and Exploring the Historic Third Ward

- 1:30 PM

11:40 PM    Milwaukee Rep Wells St. entrance for nearby downtown restaurants

11:50 PM    Bus 1 & 2 Milwaukee Art Museum

1:15 PM        Bus 1 & 2 Return to Milwaukee Public Market for those who need a ride to the Stackner Cabaret and would rather not walk the five blocks to the Milwaukee Rep.

2:00 PM      Devil’s Music performance begins

3:10 PM    Bus 1 & 2 Pick up at Milwaukee Art Museum

3:30 PM   Bus 1 & 2 Pick up at Milwaukee Public Market

4:00 PM        Devil’s Music performance ends

4:00 PM -    Begin bus boarding for return to Madison.

   4:20 PM     There will be adequate time for coat check retrieval and restroom use

4:20 PM      Depart for Madison (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)

Arrive Madison

5:35 PM         Bus 2 East Towne Shopko

5:50 PM         Bus 2 Capitol Lakes

5:50 PM         Bus 1 Oakwood University Woods

Devil's Music Mail-In Registration Forms:

PLATO Members

UWRA Guests

Independent Study Registration Mail-In Forms:

PLATO Member and No Guest

PLATO Member PLUS Guest

UWRA Guest

For further information, contact field trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com and 608-271-7741






PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

For more information about PLATO, contact:

Edie Urness-Pondillo
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715
Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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