About Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is one of the most popular modern-time plays there is. Created by Lanie Robertson, it recounts events in the life of legendary singer Billie Holiday. The play premiered at the Alliance Theatre in George back in 1986, before playing Off-Broadway. Lady Day opened on Broadway more recently in April 2014, directed by Lonny Price. Actress Audra McDonald starred Billie Holiday, featuring Shelton Becton as pianist Jimmy Powers. Sets were created by James Noone, with Esosa taking care of the costumes.

 

Actress & Recent Updates

By the time the play was closed in October 2014, Audra McDonald garnered six record-breaking Tony Awards for the show. She also became the first person to prosper in all four categories for the acting awards, not to forget winning for the Best Actress in a Play. The Play scored an award for the Best Sound Design. It was filmed at New Orleans’s Café Brasil and broadcast on HBO starting March 12th, 2016. More recently, McDonald was scheduled to re-appear in West End at Wyndham’s Theatre between June 15th and September 3rd this year. However, appearance was postponed since McDonald and her husband (Will Swenson) are expecting a baby.

The Plot

Lady Day takes place in South Philadelphia starting March 1959. In the scene, Billie Holiday performs in a run-down bar before she met her death in July of the same year. As she sings, she is telling stories about her life and has Jimmy Powers at the piano.