Directed by Tony Award nominee Lonny Price (110 in the Shade, Sweeney Todd, Company), Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill began previews March 25. The Broadway production is a limited, 10-week engagement.
The 1959-set play, which centers on one of Holiday's final public appearances, takes place in Philadelphia four months before the singer's death. The 90-minute show includes such songs as "God Bless the Child," "Strange Fruit," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "When a Woman Loves a Man," "Foolin' Myself," "Don't Explain," "Somebody's On My Mind," "Taint Nobody's Bizness," "Baby Doll" and more. A cast album is planned.
McDonald is joined by Shelton Becton as pianist Jimmy Powers. The musical team also includes bassist George Farmer and drummer Clayton Craddock. Michael Keller is the music coordinator.
The critics have filed their reviews and Playbill.com has collected them for our readers. Playbill.com will continue to update our list as the reviews come in.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.