Deidrie Henry returns to The Armory to star as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” Lanie Robertson’s portrait of Holiday’s life told through an imagined final performance in a small bar in South Philadelphia in 1959. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” begins preview performances on May 26, opens on June 1, and runs through July 1 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage. Bill Fennelly returns to The Armory to direct after previously directing “Gypsy,” “Black Pearl Sings” and, most recently, “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Deidrie Henry, who most recently played Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at The Armory, will be joined on stage by Abdul Hamid Royal, the production’s music director who also plays the role of Jimmy Powers, along with local musicians Charles Neal (drums) and James H. Leary (bass).
Featuring iconic songs like “God Bless the Child,” “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” “When a Woman Loves a Man,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Strange Fruit,” “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” is an all-access pass to Billie Holiday’s final concert. The legendary singer takes the audience on a journey through the highs and lows of her tumultuous life, interspersed with exuberant renditions of her beloved repertoire.
For more information visit www.pcs.org/ladyday.
Note: This press release has updated from a previous version. Andre St. James, listed in a previous version of this post as the bassist for the production, passed away in late May after leaving the production due to health complications, and James H. Leary has stepped into his role. The Skanner regrets the error.