The Billie Holiday Musical Previews Begin September 12th Opening slated for September 26th Little Shubert Theatre
New York, NY: Tony and multiple Grammy Award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater will star as one of the world’s incomparable and legendary jazz artists —- Billie Holiday, in the celebrated musical “Lady Day” opening Thursday, September 26th (6:30PM) at Times Square’s Little Shubert Theatre (422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Written and directed by Stephen 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 three-time Emmy Award winning composer & arranger Bill Jolly, who will serve as musical director. Preview performances are slated to begin Thursday, September 12th (8PM).
The original play with music on the life of Billie Holiday, “Lady Day” features a cavalcade of iconic Holiday songs and tells the inspired and heart-wrenching story of how Billie attempts a final comeback performance. With a newly revised 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.” (more)
“It’s a life-long dream to bring this show to New York, and I am so pleased that it’s finally going to happen,” stated Mr. Stahl. “Twenty-five years has given me many new perspectives of life-challenges and I am honored for this opportunity to incorporate some of my personal observations into the new “Lady Day” script. Stahl became an honoree of Des Auteurs et Compositeurs in France for the Paris production.
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).
With over 150 production and directorial credits, Stephen Stahl’s work in theater, film and television have paired him with award-winning talent including Bill Cosby, Patti LaBelle, Clint Holmes, Billy Joel, Mink Stole and Jason Bateman amongst others. Stephen’s 2006 independent feature film “Consequences” won “Best Feature Film" (Thriller) in the Los Angeles International Independent Film and Video Festival and garnered the award for “Best Director of a Feature Film.”