Tony Winner Dee Dee Bridgewater Will Be Billie Holiday in Lady Day at the Little Shubert

By Andrew Gans
March 18, 2013

Tony and multiple Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater will portray the late, legendary jazz artist Billie Holiday in the celebrated play-with-music Lady Day, which will begin previews Sept. 12 at Off-Broadway's Little Shubert Theatre prior to an official opening Sept. 26.



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 Bill Jolly, who will 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 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.