Audra McDonald sings the blues with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (Broadway production). Images Evgenia Eliseeva
Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Broadway production). Images Evgenia Eliseeva

Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winner Audra McDonald makes her long awaited West End debut this summer portraying legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in the musical play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

This critically acclaimed production will run at the Wyndham’s Theatre from June 25, having broken box office records at the Circle in the Square in New York in a run that netted McDonald her record-setting sixth Tony Award.

Written by Lanie Robertson and Directed by Lonny Price, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill recounts Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous, including God Bless the Child, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Strange Fruit and Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill won two Tony Awards in 2014, making McDonald Broadway’s most decorated performer, winner of six Tony Awards and the first and only person to receive awards in all four acting categories.

Audra McDonald and George Farmer in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. Photo credit Evgenia Eliseeva.jpg

Billie ‘Lady Day’ Holiday had what is widely considered one of the greatest jazz voices of all-time. Born Eleanora Fagan in April 1915, she rose to popularity in the 1930s and ’40s with her pioneering vocal style strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists.

After a turbulent personal life and struggle with addiction, she died, aged just 44. In 2000, Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Set at the end of her life in 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that, unbeknown 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.

Prior to making her West End debut in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill this summer, Audra McDonald will be in London this weekend, performing two sold-out concerts at Leicester Square Theatre, this Sunday.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill runs at Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London from June 25-September 3.

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