by: Sandi Durell
The one and only Billie Holiday is about to come to life as Tony and multiple Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater stars as the incomparable jazz legend in the musical “Lady Day” opening October 3rd at the Little Shubert Theatre (442 W. 42nd St.). TheaterPizzazz had the opportunity to attend a press rehearsal and here are some photos and video.
Written and directed by Stephen Stahl, “Lady Day” makes its New York debut after 30 years. It was originally produced at the Theatre de Boulogne-Billancourt and Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell in Paris (where Dee Dee learned to speak French), and also at Donmar Warehouse and The Piccadilly Theatre in London. Her performance not only received critical praise but garnered an Olivier “Best Actress in a Musical” Award for Ms. Bridgewater.
When producer Tom Gentile found out his friend of many years, Stephen Stahl, was looking for a producer, it didn’t take but a moment for him to say “I’m on board.”
You’ll hear just about all of the great Billie Holiday songs as well as her heart-wrenching story as she attempts a final comeback performance. With a newly revised book by Mr. Stahl, the essence and spirit of the late, great Lady Day’s story will emerge through onstage triumphs and backstage personal trials. Some of the songs you’ll hear are “Them There Eyes,” “My Man,” “Good Morning Heartache,” “Billie’s Blues” and many more.
Other cast and band members include David Ayers, Rafael Poueriet, Jim Cammack, Ken Hitchcock, Jerome Jennings and Billy Jolly. Set design is by Beowulf Boritt, with costumes by Patricia A. Hibbert.
Previews begin September 19th. www.ladydaythemusical.com Telecharge 800 432-7250