Gut Bucket Blues Premieres in Atlanta

Get ready to have a blues and history lesson about legendary 1920s blues singer Bessie Smith. Running at the Theatrical Outfit’s Balzer Theatre at Herren’s from October 2 until November 7, the life, times and influence of the Empress of the Blues is brought to the stage by dynamic director David H. Bell. Gut Bucket Blues ushers in the fall theatre season and is certain to be one of Atlanta’s hottest tickets, so hurry before you miss out on your chance to witness music history.

Writer and director David H. Bell crafts a mesmerizing story about the often-forgotten blues pioneer who cemented her own sound and place in music history despite various career, racial and personal obstacles. Adrienne Reynolds takes on the title role that chronicles her initial start touring local venues, her breakthrough as an unforgettable recording artist and all of her relationship and personal struggles in between. The stage musical marks the reunion of Bell and his former coworker Kenny Leon (the two worked together while at the Alliance Theatre) whose True Colors Theatre Company is serving as producer of Gut Bucket Blues.

Realizing that blues can be somewhat morose in large doses, Bell chose to include more of Smith’s up-tempo songs including: “After You’ve Gone,” “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out,” and “St. Louis Blues.” With this collection of hits, theatre-goers are guaranteed to be out of their seats and dancing in the aisles. A courageous woman with a nonsense attitude, Smith was the perfect choice to bring to the stage and summon Bell back to Atlanta where his theatre roots are quite well-known and respected. When he’s not directing shows in Chicago, New York, London and Paris, he also serves as the head of the music theatre program at Northwestern University. Don’t wait, go and get your tickets for Gut Bucket Blues while they last and soon you’ll be able to brag about this phenomenal production. The shows run at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $25-$45.

The Balzer Theatre at Herren’s is located at 84 Luckie St. 678.528.1500. For more information visit

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