Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Wyndham's Theatre |
Booking until 9th September 2017

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

About The Show

This production contains strong language and themes of an adult nature.

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald makes her West End debut as legendary jazz icon, Billie Holiday.

Spend an intimate evening filled with some of the most inspiring and moving songs ever written and hear the personal stories of Holiday's loves and losses through a turbulent but extraordinary life.

With a glorious score featuring God Bless the Child, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Strange Fruit, Crazy He Calls Me and Taint Nobody's Biz-ness you'd better pull up a chair and order a drink because this legend's got a life to sing.

Audra McDonald, a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winner, is one of Broadway's biggest stars and holds the record for Tony-winning performances including her Best Actress winning performance for LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL.

This strictly limited season runs for 12 weeks only until 9th September.

Cast & Creative

Audra McDonald (Billie Holiday)

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress. Recipient of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was bestowed a 2015 National Medal of Arts by President Obama and also named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people that year.

Aside from her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, and 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination). She returned in the 2015-16 season in Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.
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The Juilliard-trained soprano's opera credits include La Voix Humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera.

On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC's Private Practice. She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS's Live From Lincoln Center, having previously received nominations for Wit and A Raisin in the Sun. Other TV credits include The Good Wife, Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, The Bedford Diaries, Kidnapped, and the 1999 remake of Annie.

On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, and Ricki and the Flash. She plays the Garderobe in Disney's upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast.

An exclusive recording artist for Nonesuch Records, she has released five solo albums for the label. McDonald also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras.

Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.
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Lanie Robertson (Writer)

Lanie Robertson began his career in Philadelphia with The Insanity of Mary Girard, a play which recently toured Ireland. His plays have been performed at many regional theatres throughout the United States and the world.

New York productions include Back County Crimes at Playwrights' Horizons, Nasty Little Secrets at Primary Stages, LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL at both the Vineyard and the West Side Arts theatres, and Bringing Mother Down and Cannibal's Waltz at the Abingdon Theatre.

In 1987, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for his Off-Broadway hit, LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, which starred Lonette McKee as Billie Holiday, a role later assumed by Eartha Kitt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Loretta Divine, Jackee Harry and now the legendary Audra McDonald.
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He was awarded the prestigious Kleban Award as best librettist for Stringbean. His play A Penny for the Guy has been produced by the Virginia Stage Co., the Geva Theatre, Buffalo's Studio Theatre, and the Manitoba Theatre Center. His play Alfred Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe toured with Stacey Keach and Margot Kidder in the title roles. It was later produced in Paris and is scheduled for a production in Warsaw.

For television, Mr. Robertson wrote the Diana Ross special Red Hot 'n' Blue for ABC, and Journey Into Genius which aired on PBS' "American Playhouse" and starred Matthew Modine.

His published plays include Back County Crimes, Nasty Little Secrets, HE/SHE: Pizza Pie, The Insanity of Mary Girard and LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL. His one-woman play Woman Before a Glass ran off-Broadway in New York City.
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Lonny Price (Director)

In the West End, Lonny Price directed English National Opera productions of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, which is currently playing a limited engagement at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, as well as Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which transferred to the ENO from Lincoln Center in New York.

Broadway productions include: Audra McDonald in LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL (also for HBO), as well as 110 in the Shade; Danny Glover in Athol Fugard's  'Master Harold'... and the Boys; Joan Rivers in Sally Marr and Her Escorts (which he co-wrote with Ms. Rivers and Erin Sanders); Jenn Colella in Urban Cowboy; and himself in A Class Act, for which he also co-wrote the book (with Linda Kline) and was nominated for a Tony Award.

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He recently directed the stage and film version of the New York Philharmonic's all-star production of Stephen Sondheim's Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, Martha Plimpton, and Patti LuPone, which played in over seven hundred movie theaters across the country. He also directed the stage and filmed versions of his tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert! in March of 2010, for which he received an Emmy Award.

His other Philharmonic collaborations include the "Live From Lincoln Center" broadcasts of Camelot starring Gabriel Byrne; Candide, starring Kristin Chenoweth; and Sweeney Todd starring Ms. LuPone and George Hearn, for which he won an Emmy. His production of Sondheim's Passion starring Ms. LuPone, Audra McDonald, and Michael Cerveris also won the Emmy.

Lonny's Off-Broadway directorial work includes Visiting Mr. Green, starring Eli Wallach; Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups; and Mary Pat Gleason's Stopping Traffic. He made his opera directing debut at the Houston Grand Opera directing Audra McDonald in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine and Michael John LaChiusa's Send.

For his first feature film, ‘Master Harold' ... and the Boys, (starring Freddie Highmore and Ving Rhames), he received a Best Director Award from the New York International Independent FIlm and Video Festival. His documentary, "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened", about the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, is a New York Times Top 10 Film of 2016, and premiered at the New York Film Festival before seeing international release this winter.

As an actor, he appeared on and Off-Broadway in a variety of plays and musicals, including Athol Fugard's 'Master Harold' ... and the Boys, Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, and Lanford Wilson's Burn This. On film, he is best remembered for playing Neil Kellerman, the hotel owner's grandson in Dirty Dancing. For his acting work, he has received Obie, Theatre World, Drama League, and Drama Logue awards.
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Radisson Blu Edwardian, London