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Presented by IBM
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Theatre: Circle in the Square Theatre
Opening Night: April 13 2014

Author: Lanie Robertson

Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jessica Genick, Will Trice, Ronald Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Roger Berlind, Ken Greiner, Gabrielle Palitz, Irene Gandy, GFour Productions

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

2 Nominations

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Sound Design of a Play
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.


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.


  • 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.

Show Tickets and Cast Albums