Best Solo Show - 2001
The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith
Very early on in The Devil's Music, Miche Braden belted out a low blues note to let audiences know she is not just an actress; she's also a phenomenal singer. But Braden's acting was the real prize. The range of her characterization was sassy, wise, bitter, and flirtatious. She was inexhaustible, singing 13 gut-wrenching tunes in 90 minutes with no intermission or scene change. Her stamina and heartbreaking blues lent numerous dimensions to the character of Bessie Smith, giving her the stage presence of a diva and the theatricality of a broken woman. Although finding a talented actress who also happens to have a voice like Smith's is rare, Braden's exceptional performance proves it is possible.