About the showMulti-award winning Broadway legend Audra McDonald makes her long-awaited West End debut as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, the role that earned her a Tony Award. An intimate evening that features hard-hitting monologues and a selection of Holiday's best songs, this is an evening at the theatre that won't be forgotten.
Lanie Robertson's critically acclaimed play re-imagines legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday at one of her penultimate gigs at Emerson's Bar & Grill, before her untimely death a couple of months later. Taking centre stage and accompanied by a smooth jazz band, McDonald bears Holiday's soul, crooning soulful renditions of classics including "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", "God Bless the Child", "Strange Fruit" and "Don’t Explain". Between the music, Holiday shares anecdotes from her difficult life, which was blighted by racism, difficult relationships drug addictions.
A six-time Tony Award winner, Audra McDonald has extensive stage and screen credits, most recently appearing in Beauty and the Beast as Garderobe. Theatre roles include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Porgy and Bess. After appearing in Lady Day on Broadway, she earned her sixth Tony Award, with critics raving about her performance. She has since become the only performer in Tony history to have received awards from all four acting categories.
Originally playing to audiences Off-Broadway in 1986, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill subsequently went on to win the Outer Critics Award. When it was revived with McDonald in 2014, audiences were captivated by the performance and the play extended its Broadway run 4 times before it finally closed. Lonny Price directs the London production, which opened at Wyndham's Theatre in June 2017.
Who Should See It?Fans of legendary singer Billie Holiday will not want to miss this insightful and intimate look into the final months of her life. With Audra McDonald leading the production, this is the perfect opportunity to see one of the most successful stage performers of in her element.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill is not suitable for children.