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The 2013-2014 Broadway Season

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Audra McDonald returns to Broadway to take on the role of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in a musical play that recounts Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous.

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Circle in the Square Theatre
Opening Night - April 13 2014
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & GrillAudra McDonald in Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill


Lanie Robertson’s musical play recounts legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous. It’s 1959 in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia. Holiday (played by Audra McDonald) puts on a show that, unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime. Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all time shares her loves and her losses.


  • Among the songs performed in the production are “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness,” and Holiday’s composition “God Bless the Child.”
  • Billie Holiday was nicknamed “Lady Day” by one of her frequent accompanists, the tenor saxophonist Lester Young.


Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, prior to an Off Broadway run at the Vineyard Theatre in the spring of 1986. That production subsequently transferred to the Westside Arts Theatre.


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Revised April 15, 2014


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