David Ayers, Rafael Poueriet and More Will Join Dee Dee Bridgewater in Lady Day at the Little Shubert

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27 Jun 2013

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Photo by Mark Higashino

Tony and multiple Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, as previously reported, will portray the late, legendary jazz artist Billie Holiday in the celebrated play-with-music Lady Day, which will now begin previews Sept. 19 at Off-Broadway's Little Shubert Theatre prior to an official opening Oct. 3.

Joining Bridgewater will be the newly announced David Ayers as Robert, Billie Holiday's manager, and Rafael Poueriet as the Assistant Stage Manager with bass player Jim Cammack, saxophone player Ken Hitchcock, drummer Jerome Jennings and pianist Bill Jolly in the speaking roles of the onstage musicians.

Written and directed by Stephen Stahl, Lady Day will make its New York debut having been produced at the Theatre de Boulogne-Billancourt and Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell in Paris as well as The Donmar Warehouse and The Piccadilly Theatre in London, where it received critical praise and garnered an Olivier nomination for Bridgewater.

Produced by Misty Road Productions, the show's creative team also includes three-time Emmy Award-winning composer and arranger Jolly, who will also serve as musical director.

An original play with music based on the life of Billie Holiday, Lady Day, according to press notes, "features a cavalcade of Holiday hit songs and tells the inspired and heart-wrenching story of how Billie attempts a final comeback performance." With a newly revised book by Stahl, the production features over 25 standards, including "Don't Explain," "Good Morning Heartache," "A Foggy Day (In London Town)," "Them There Eyes," "Strange Fruit," "My Man," "God Bless the Child" and "Mean to Me."



"It's a life-long dream to bring this show to New York, and I am so pleased that it's finally going to happen," Stahl said in a previous statement. "Twenty-five years has given me many new perspectives of life-challenges and I am honored for this opportunity to incorporate some of my personal observations into the new Lady Day script."

Dee Dee Bridgewater has received nine Grammy Award nominations and three wins: Best Jazz Vocal Album for "Dear Ella," Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal for "Cotton Tail" (from "Dear Ella") and the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for "Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee." She won her Tony for her performance as Glinda, the Good Witch, in The Wiz. Bridgewater serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador for the FAO and is host of NPR's nationally syndicated radio program "JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater."

For more information visit www.ladydaythemusical.com.