Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
through February 4, 2018
Billie Holiday was one of the great jazz singers half a century ago. Born in Philly she changed her name from Eleanora Fagan to Billie Holiday and she was a featured performer with big bands in Harlem and other venues, including some shows at Carnegie Hall.
She had a really tough life full of unpleasant relationships, and in her thirties she became addicted to drugs as well as alcohol. She died at age 44 but her legend lives on.
This retelling of her tragic journey through life, and the fights she put up, is told and sung to us by Terry Burrell who comes off right on-score as Lady Day. She is backed up by her trio on stage, with William Knowles on the keyboard, Ramon Pooser on bass, and Lorenzo Sanford on the drums. Eric J. Little directed this one-act production on a really incredible set by the sisters Curley-Clay.
The theatre is set up cabaret style with a live bar and seats available at tables right near the stage. It’s an interesting journey back to some good and bad days in the music world and segregation days. The commentaries probably would not be suitable for youngsters, or those who recoil at the use of an expletive, . . . but WTF?
There’s a parking garage just past the theatre on Luckie Street and you can buy a discounted validation voucher at the box office. More info available at TheatricalOutfit.org