It’s March 1959, and in an intimate, seedy Philadelphia bar, Billie Holiday takes the stage for one of her final performances. Holiday’s music is enchanting and soulful, her story tragic yet joyful and her connection with the audience electric and personal.
Theatre Calgary presents an honest and riveting story by Lanie Robertson, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, which takes to the stage at the Max Bell Theatre in Arts Commons from Sept. 13 to Oct. 2.
A mesmerizing tale showcasing the presence of Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is filled with many of the jazz and blues music singer’s most memorable songs, like “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit,” “T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” and “God Bless the Child.”
Known as Lady Day, Holiday’s influence in the world of jazz, blues and even R&B is irrefutable, inspiring such artists as Frank Sinatra, Andra Day, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Etta James and Diana Ross. Her influence on rock-era musicians was more about Holiday’s attitude than her music. Her triumph over adversity forever changed the genres of jazz and pop music with her unique styling, interpretation and improvisation. Comparisons have even been made between Holiday’s vocal style and those of Whitney Houston and Beyonce.
Holiday’s story is one of ground-breaking achievements and traumatic downfalls. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill takes the audience on this journey with Holiday as she shares her story in an honest and intimate way through her words and music.
Directed by Ray Hogg, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is an honest and searing portrait of a strong yet vulnerable artist who had come to certain realizations about her life and her music. Cast members include Yanick Allwood as Jimmy Powers and Shakura Dickson as Lady Day herself.
Join Theatre Calgary in celebrating the story and musical magic of one of history’s greatest artists. With a belief in making the theatre experience more affordable, Theatre Calgary also provides several offers, including a “$40 Under 40” and first responder’s discount. For tickets and special offers, visit theatrecalgary.com or call 403-294-7447.
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