Monday, November 28, 2016

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill to open Max & Louis Productions' 2017 season

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, the award-winning musical drama about singer Billie Holiday, will be the opening production of St. Louis theater company Max & Louie Productions' 2017 season.

The play by Lanie Robertson first premiered in 1986 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, and went on to run Off-Broadway and in regional theaters soon after that, finally making it to Broadway in 2014.

The St. Louis production will run from Friday, February 17 through Saturday, March 4 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, with Alexis J. Roston playing Holiday. Performances will be at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sundays, with one additional matinee at 4:00 p.m. onSaturday, March 4.

Roston (pictured), who won Chicago’s Jeff Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award for her portrayal of Holiday in a previous production of the play by that city's Porchlight Theatre Company, will be accompanied by pianist, composer and arranger Abdul Hamid Royal, with Leda Hoffmann of the Milwaukee Rep directing.

Described as "a moving portrait of Holiday’s struggles with addiction, racism, love and loss," Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is set in a run-down bar in Philadelphia, circa 1959. Evoking Holiday's nightclub act, the play includes musical numbers such as “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” and “What A Little Moonlight Can Do,” alternating with Holiday telling stories about her life.

General admission tickets for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill are $45, or $35 for seniors 65 and older and students with ID, and will go on sale this Thursday, December 1 at; by phone via MetroTix at 314-534-1111; and in person at the Fox Theatre box office.

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