The new Billie Holiday Musical “Lady Day” Starring Dee Dee Bridgewater Begins Previews September 19th ● Opening slated for October 3rd at Little Shubert Theatre
The production features David Ayers (Wicked and SILENCE!) in the role of “Robert,” Billie Holiday’s Manager along with newcomer Rafael Poueriet in the role of the “Assistant Stage manager” as well as Jim Cammack (veteran bass player for legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal), Ken Hitchcock (NY Saxophone Quartet & Manhattan Jazz Orchestra’s acclaimed tenor sax player), Jerome Jennings (performer & drummer for Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins) and Bill Jolly (three-time Emmy Award winning pianist/composer/arranger) in the speaking roles of the onstage musicians complete the acting ensemble for the upcoming Billie Holiday musical “Lady Day” starring Tony and multiple Grammy Award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater. With an opening set for Thursday, October 3rd (6:30PM) the production will take residence at Times Square’s Little Shubert Theatre (422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Written and directed byStephen Stahl, the musical 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 “Best Actress in a Musical” Award nomination for Ms. Bridgewater. Produced by Misty Road Productions the show’s creative team also includes Mr. Jolly, who will also serve as musical director. Preview performances are slated to begin Thursday, September 19th (8PM).
The original play with music on the life of Billie Holiday, “Lady Day” 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 new book by Mr. Stahl, “Lady Day” brings the essence and spirit of the late, great Billie Holiday to the stage. Told through onstage triumphs and backstage personal trials, the production features over twenty-five 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.”
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.” Broadway audiences will remember her role as Glinda, the Good Witch, in “The Wiz”—a performance that won her the Tony Award’s Best Featured Actress in a Musical and showcased her incredible voice, beauty and stage presence. In addition to her concert performances around the world, Ms. Bridgewater serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador for the FAO and is host of NPR’s nationally syndicated radio program “JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.” No stranger to the stage, she has starred in productions of Sophisticated Ladies, Cosmopolitan Greetings, Black Ballad, Carmen Jazz and Cabaret (the first black actress to star as Sally Bowles).
For more information log onto: www.ladydaythemusical.com