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Champeen was a 1983 musical by Melvin Van Peebles. It looked at the careers of Bessie Smith and Joe Louis, and had a cast of 18.[1] It won 7 awards at the 11th Audelco Recognition Awards for Black theater, including best actress, best choreography, and best director.[2] Although it covered Bessie Smith's life, it was not a biographical play.[3] The New York Times reviewed it positively, although it was stated that Miss Reaves-Phillips was not given enough singing time.[4]


  1. ^ "New York Magazine - Google Books". 1983-04-11. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ "Jet - Google Books". 1984-01-23. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Pop Culture Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race: Selected Critical Essays ... - Carol Cooper - Google Books". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ "The New York Times Theater Reviews - Google Books". Retrieved 2012-11-18.