Critics Review Audra McDonald in HBO’s Lady Day

News   Critics Review Audra McDonald in HBO’s Lady Day
Audra McDonald’s history-making performance as troubled jazz singer Billie Holiday aired on HBO March 12. Here’s what critics are saying.
Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald Evgenia Eliseeva

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill was filmed before a live audience at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans.

Lonny Price, who directed the hit Broadway production, also directed the HBO film. Critics raved over the 2014 Broadway production that extended its run four times. Read the reviews here.

McDonald made Tony Awards history for her performance, becoming the first woman to win Tony Awards in all four eligible acting categories. She now holds the record for the most Tony Award wins of any actor in competitive Tony categories.

Reviews for the HBO film follow. Check back for updates.

A.V. Club


Originally written for Off-Broadway by Lanie Roberston in 1987, Lady Day tells 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.”

McDonald will return to Broadway later this season in Shuffle Along. She will also reprise her role in Lady Day for London audiences this summer.

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