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Release ‘Day’: Hear Audra’s ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’

If you aren’t lucky enough to get back to New York by Sept. 21 to catch Audra McDonald in her historic Tony Award-winning performance as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” you can at least listen to the Broadway cast album, which was released today. When I saw the show in May I wrote:

McDonald, to me, has one of the most instantly recognizable voices I’ve ever heard. Give me two seconds of her with almost any song and I’ll snap: “Audra.” Yet in Lanie Robertson’s 1986 play, which recounts a night of the life of Billie Holiday near the end of her life, McDonald burrows into her character with such intense authenticity (and does crazy-screwy things with her voice that completely tamps down her operatic tendencies into a bluesy twang) that I simply forgot I wasn’t in the presence of Billie Holiday herself.

Here’s the show’s Facebook page.

Responses to "Release ‘Day’: Hear Audra’s ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’"

Jim Wilson says:

The two disc cast recording of Lady Day runs one hour and 28 minutes, indicating that it is the entire play — music and dialogue, recorded in front of a live audience. So, if you want to experience all of the elements of this mesmerizing performance — except for the visual — this is “must hear” CD event.

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