The singer-actress will bring "The Billie Holiday Story" to London's New Players Theatre May 5-July 23. Show times are Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 7:45 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM.
Mark Clements directs the limited London engagement, which also features Warren Wills. The Lanie Robertson play, according to production notes, is set "in a small bar in South Philadelphia, March 1959, and Billie Holiday is making one of her final appearances — washed up but still charismatically engaging. In the sleazy and intimate surroundings of her old friend Emerson’s bar, she begins her set and between songs, gradually pours out the highs and lows of her life — the heartaches and the triumphs." Lady Day features more than one-dozen songs that are associated with the jazz legend that was Billie Holiday.
Billie Holiday was born in April 1915 and became one of the first and greatest jazz singers of all time. In the 1930's "Lady Day" became a sensation at New York's jazz club, The Apollo, and some of her signature tunes include "Fine and Mellow," "God Bless the Child," "Good Morning Heartache" and her biggest hit, "Lover Man." Her addiction to heroin and opium as well as excessive drinking sparked a rapid decline in health, and the multitalented but troubled Holiday died tragically in July 1959.
Dawn Hope has appeared in the London productions of Bubbling Brown Sugar, Chicago and Ain't Misbehavin'. Her numerous theatrical credits also include They're Playing Our Song, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, Who's a Lucky Boy, Babe, Following the Star, Blues in the Night and Josephine. She has previously starred in productions of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, and her performance in the show was preserved on the CD "Dawn Hope is Lady Day."
The New Players Theatre is located in London at the Arches, Villiers Street. Tickets, priced £12.50-£27.50, can be ordered by calling 0870 033 2626 or by logging on to www.seetickets.com. Visit www.dawnphope.com for more information.