General News

Audra McDonald to sing the blues as Billie Holiday

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Feb 25, 2014 | 1:27pm EST

Tony Award-winning actress/singer Audra Mcdonald is heading back to Broadway to sing the blues as jazz icon Billie Holiday. The Private Practice star will headline the Lanie Robertson play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, which re-enacts one of the musician's last performances at a small bar in her native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before her death in May, 1959. McDonald has been working with director Lonny Price on the project for the past 18 months, with plans to debut the show for the 2014-2015 theatre season. However, bosses at New York's Circle in the Square Theater have since decided to close New York Yankees play Bronx Bombers this Sunday (02Mar14), less than a month after its official launch, giving Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill producers the chance to take its place. Previews will begin on 25 March (14), with opening night set for 13 April (14). The limited engagement will run for just 10 weeks. During the show, McDonald will perform 18 Holiday hits, including What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child. The play originally debuted off-Broadway in 1986, with Lonette McKee in the leading role. Holiday died from heart failure caused by liver disease cirrhosis.

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