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Graphic Art by Brandon J. Wallace

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL

by Lanie Robertson

musical arrangements by Danny Holgate

THE STORY:  In March 1959, four months before her passing, Billie

Holiday gives an unforgettable performance at Emerson’s Bar &

Grill in South Philadelphia. However, her songs are just one part of

the show. In between renditions of some of her greatest hits, like

“Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child,” Billie fights to shape her

own legacy and revitalize her career amid her personal memories 

of hardship and physical addiction in this immersive cabaret

experience that marks the directorial debut of Pulitzer nominated artist, Nikkole Salter.

 

 

 

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL was produced by Baltimore Center Stage (under the leadership of Interim Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin and Managing Director Adam Frank) and played in their Head Theatre from September 14 - October 15, 2023, directed by Nikkole Salter, assistant directed by Jeff Kirkman, III and Musical Directed by Nolan Williams Jr.  Due to popular demand, the production was extended for one additional week of performances even before it opened on September 22, 2023.  LADY DAT AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL was first produced in New York by the Vineyard Theatre.

 

Starring: (l to r) Tanea Renee, Terry Brewer, Eliot Seppa, Francis Carroll & Brittani Arlandis Green(u/s)

 

Lighting Design:  Jorge Arroyo                                 Assistant Lighting Designer: William Brown

Scenic Design:  Sydney Lynn                                   Assistant Scenic Designer: Alyssa Moon Thompson
Costume Design: Moyenda Kulemeka                      Sound Design: Uptown Works

Musical Direction: Nolan Williams, Jr.                        Hair/Wig & Make Up:  Cherelle D. Guyton

Assistant Director:  Jeff Kirkman, III                           Stage Manager:  Kacey Bradshaw 

Assistant Stage Manager:  Alexis E. Davis                 Production Assistant: Shaquan Pearson 

Director of Production: Jeff Bazemore                       Assistant Production Manger: Sammy Brown

Director of Artistic Producing: Sarah Cain                Company Management - Bridgette Burton

General Management - Jeff Kirkman, III

Musical Consultant: Terry Brewer   

Casting:  JZ Casting, Geoff Josselson - CSA; Katja Zarolinski - CSA                              

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LINKS TO PRESS & REVIEWS FROM THE BALTIMORE CENTER STAGE PRODUCTION

Hotchka - 'Baltimore Center Stage Presents Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill - REVIEW

By: CHUCK DUNCAN 09/23/2023

"Also amazing is this entire production. Staged by director Nikkole Salter in Center Stage’s Head Theatre, you are immediately transported to Emerson’s Bar and Grill from the moment you enter the space. In addition to the traditional theatre seating (in an almost but not quite in-the-round setting) there are tables and chairs on the floor to give those audience members the true feeling of being in a nightclub. Salter gives Renee the freedom to leave the performance stage and saunter around among the ‘patrons’ of Emerson’s, truly transporting you back to that moment in 1959. The nightclub lighting is augmented with some other lighting cues, such as flickering stage lights to signify we’re going into a memory hole with Billie, and a moment during one of her stories where the entire room is bathed in red light to signify her rage...  Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is one of the must-see shows of the season. If you’re in Baltimore, or planning to be in Baltimore, do yourself a favor and make plans to see this show. And you even have more time to see it as the producers announced a one-week extension on opening night! You will be left singing the blues if you don’t catch Tanea Renee as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Baltimore Center Stage."

 

MARYLAND THEATRE GUIDE - 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Baltimore Centerstage - REVIEW

By: HERB MERRICK 09/24/2023

"Director Nikkole Salter allowed the audience to experience Billie Holiday’s warmth, humor, anger, sadness, and determination...A good director also pays attention to the little details, such as Ms. Renee leaving the stage, Mr. Brewer playing a wonderful jazz interlude, and then Ms. Renee returning with a larger glass of alcohoL"

DC THEATRE ARTS - 'Rising Hometown Star Glows in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill' - REVIEW

By: MALCOLM LEWIS BARNES 09/24/2023

" The other reason to see Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is the presence of Nikkole Salter, who is making her directorial debut as a Pulitzer Prize-nominated [writer] of eight full-length plays including In the Continuum, which she co-authored and performed off-Broadway and which also won her an Obie award as Best New American Play.

As a dramatist and stage actor with extensive credentials including her star role as Lady Macbeth at DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, Salter has a signature style that is all over Lady Day and the confident development of Tanea Renee as a rising hometown star."

 

PLAYS

BREAKOUT

BREAKOUT

CARNAVAL

CARNAVAL

INDIAN

INDIAN

IN THE CONTINUUM

IN THE CONTINUUM

FREEDOM RIDER

FREEDOM RIDER

LINES IN THE DUST

LINES IN THE DUST

REPAIRING A NATION

REPAIRING A NATION

TORN ASUNDER

TORN ASUNDER

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