Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Wyndham's Theatre tickets
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Wyndham's Theatre tickets

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Overview

Multiple Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald makes her highly anticipated West End debut as the legendary jazz star Billie Holiday at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre. Directed by the prolific Lonny Price (Company, Candide) Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill immerses the audience in one of Holiday’s most intimate gigs, discovering her heart-breaking loves and losses.

Written by Lanie Robertson (The Insanity of Mary Girard), the critically-acclaimed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill takes the audience on a tumultuous journey through Holiday’s extraordinary life. Set at a bar in 1959 Philadelphia, Holiday gives what became one of her final performances, opening up to her awaiting audience. Through moving monologues and a heart-wrenching score accompanied by a luscious live jazz band, McDonald gives the performance of her career as the renowned jazz singer. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill includes plenty of popular songs, such as ‘What a Little Moonlight Can Do’, ‘Strange Fruit’ and ‘Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness’.

Earning two 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Actress for her performance as Holiday, McDonald is the only performer in Tony history to have received awards from all four acting categories. Her extensive credits include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Gershwin’s ultimate classic Porgy and Bess. McDonald’s musical prowess has also been recognised by winning two Grammy Awards and an Emmy, with multiple solo albums recorded.

Revered as one of the greatest voices of all time, Holiday rose to fame in the 1930s and 40s and recorded various hits that have become defining jazz numbers. After a struggle with addiction which caused an untimely death at the age of 44, Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill celebrates the singer in all her glory, with moving, inspirational music that will remind the audience of one of the world’s greatest stars. This is set to be one of the hottest tickets in town.

Recommended for

Billie Holiday fans will not be disappointed, as Audra McDonald transforms magnificently into the legendary singer and shouldn't miss the chance to get tickets!

Age Recommendations: May not be suitable for very young children

Dates and times

Running time: 90 minutes with no interval
Opened: 17 Jun 2017
Press night: 27 Jun 2017
Booking from: 08 Sep 2017
Booking until: 09 Sep 2017

Location and map

Wyndham's Theatre
Charing Cross Rd
London, WC2H 0DA

61 Reviews Add review

On a 2nd viewing this goes from great to awesome and spellbinding. In the 3 days between seeing the show twice I re-listened to al... More

matthewhisbent 3 reviews, 0 helpful votes

On a 2nd viewing this goes from great to awesome and spellbinding. In the 3 days between seeing the show twice I re-listened to all my Billie Holiday cds', including the 2 which were recorded in 1959 not long before she died and now I am even more amazed as Audra McDonald's characterisation of the singer. I have seen the criticism of the show for dwelling on the final faltering months but there is a more positive light to view it in. Despite its flaws the 1972 biopic Lady Sings the Blues with Diana Ross ended with the Carnegie hall appearance. This new and imaginative production neatly bookends Billie's life whilst acknowledging the many highs and lows in a turbulent career. It just serves to highlight the poignancy of an untimely demise for a unique artist who didn't have a shred of self pity in her. It is a great great show with an equally great script and performances all round which I enjoyed even more than the first viewing. 10 stars!!!

matthewhisbent 3 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I was stiff at the end; itt would've helped if I'd moved more - but you see, I was so enthralled! Audra McDonald is a six-time Ton... More

u2fancat 5'6'', 37 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I was stiff at the end; itt would've helped if I'd moved more - but you see, I was so enthralled! Audra McDonald is a six-time Tony award winner, it seems - and oh my, on the evidence of this, she deserves every one. Dressed in an elegant white gown - eventually donning the gardenias for which Bille Holiday was famous - she storms the house in a 90-minute show, which takes the form of a cabaret concert in a supper club. And in that time, she seems literally possessed by the spirit of Billie Holiday. I've never made much study of Billie Holiday - but it sounded authentic to me. Kudos to her for singing for that long - and for eight shows a week - in a voice that isn't her natural one! We heard classics such as God Bless the Child and Strange Fruit - and also, as during the course of the evening, she succumbed to the effects of the booze, constantly in her hand - she told us about her sad life. Wow. This is an absolutely amazing performance - not to be missed.

u2fancat 5'6'', 37 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Wow..... One of the best performances on stage this year. Audra McDonald should win an award for her heartfelt, captivating, mesme... More

joc78 5"4, 226 reviews, 3 helpful votes

Wow..... One of the best performances on stage this year. Audra McDonald should win an award for her heartfelt, captivating, mesmerising, sensational and spellbinding performance as Billie Holiday. Watching her portrayal of such a troubled, sad, and lonely individual in front of our eyes and through her scintillating performance moved me to tears. And that voice........wow! I now know why she is the most celebrated star in Broadway history.... :-)

joc78 5"4, 226 reviews, 3 helpful votes

What a wonderful experience to see the legendary Audra McDonald perform in London! Her one-woman show displayed a pure stage-veter... More

AlexPhillips 171cm or 5'7", 42 reviews, 1 helpful vote

What a wonderful experience to see the legendary Audra McDonald perform in London! Her one-woman show displayed a pure stage-veteran's deepest skills in the art of theatre acting: the human decline into sorrow and depression was beautifully done; the singing emulated Ms Holliday so flawlessly that I completely forgot who was performing in front of me! The fact that this was a 90-minute show sans interval was a pleasant twist on the standard format, but I did not notice the time throughout the performance.

AlexPhillips 171cm or 5'7", 42 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Come on, what more can I say than it's Audra-Freaking-McDonald, holder of the most Tony Awards of any actor ever and bearer of the... More

YankInLondon 5'5", 31 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Come on, what more can I say than it's Audra-Freaking-McDonald, holder of the most Tony Awards of any actor ever and bearer of the kind of talent you will tell your great-grandchildren you were privileged enough to witness. Her performance of Lady Day will reach into your soul & rearrange the very molecules which make up your being, leaving you permanently changed once you leave the theatre.

YankInLondon 5'5", 31 reviews, 1 helpful vote

I only saw this show to see Audra McDonald in action and boy was it worth it. What an absolutely incredible performance. I didn'... More

jamesatwill 178, 85 reviews, 3 helpful votes

I only saw this show to see Audra McDonald in action and boy was it worth it. What an absolutely incredible performance. I didn't really know anything about Billie Holiday but I was sure to watch a few youtube videos before I went to the show, and Audra mimicked everything about her just perfectly. I wasn't expecting the show to be quite so sad and moving. Really glad I got to see this - if Audra isn't nominated for the Olivier net year I'll be very surprised.

jamesatwill 178, 85 reviews, 3 helpful votes

Audra McDonald in this show is beyond words. Her performance is a complete masterclass in acting and singing. It feels like an hon... More

gdeacon95 6'1, 64 reviews, 7 helpful votes

Audra McDonald in this show is beyond words. Her performance is a complete masterclass in acting and singing. It feels like an honour to see her perform this role. The onstage band are brilliant, and the whole setting with audience on stage creates one of the most unique theatre environments I've ever experienced.

gdeacon95 6'1, 64 reviews, 7 helpful votes

Wow what a performance, not sure how she does 2 shows a day she puts so much into her performance she must be shattered by the tim... More

fred666 6 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Wow what a performance, not sure how she does 2 shows a day she puts so much into her performance she must be shattered by the time the curtain closes, truly an amazing performance, no matter where you sit you will not be disappointed, no photos were allowed before or during the performance but I did manage to take a photo of the stage. But please go see this show it's really amazing.

fred666 6 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A very powerful and unique show. Audra was sensational and it was a real treat to see her perform. The story is moving and captiva... More

bryonyjameson 5"7, 51 reviews, 1 helpful vote

A very powerful and unique show. Audra was sensational and it was a real treat to see her perform. The story is moving and captivating and the layout of the seating - with cabaret seats at the front and on-stage seating was truly unique.

bryonyjameson 5"7, 51 reviews, 1 helpful vote