HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour Hits New York

Photo by Dorothy Hong

Last night marked the final leg of the NY portion of HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour, a 3 day takeover comprised of an artist workshop with Bryan Michael Cox and Stacy Barthe offering students tips of their respective trades, a showcase with local artists (in NYC, the buzzworthy Phony Ppl performed, amongst others), and a surprise performance by the electrifying Janelle Monae, all to honor the legacy of Bessie Smith.

The final private event, held at Stephan Weiss Studios, hosted lucky fans, as well as celebs like John Singleton, Bessie director Dee Rees, Sylvia Rhone, AJ Calloway and more, to a 30 minute set by the Covergirl, Janelle Monae. Her performance had the entire crowd on their feet. HBO will commence the LA portion of the Bessie 81 Theatre Tour on May 12th, with a different surprise headliner for the West Coast. HBO’s Bessie airs on May 16th.

Check out more photos from the event below. Photos by Dorothy Hong.

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