*Audra McDonald will star as Billie Holliday this spring in the Broadway production “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” a musical that imagines one of Holiday’s last performances in 1959.
Producers said Tuesday that the five-time Tony Award-winner will star as an ailing Holiday in a small club in Philadelphia, where she will let loose on such timeless classics as “Somebody’s On My Mind,” ”Don’t Explain” and “Strange Fruit.”
Previews begin March 25 at the Circle in the Square Theatre and opening night is set for April 13. The venue will allow some lucky members of the audience to sit at tables onstage.
The cast of ‘Kinky Boots’
*From the Broadway and Off-Broadway revivals of Romeo and Juliet, to The Trip to Bountiful, Fun Home, Here Lies Love, Kinky Boots and Awake and Sing!, 2013 was a year of diversity in song and story on the New York stage.
New York City — boasting to be a cultural melting pot — wouldn’t be the epicenter of theatrical arts without a diverse range of shows on and off The Great White Way.
The 2013 calendar year saw what could be some of the most ambitious offerings of diversity to ever tread the boards; from a Cicely Tyson-fronted version of Horton Foote‘s classic The Trip to Bountiful and a nod to traditional Hebrew culture and its brief dalliance with rock music (Soul Doctor), to the “theatre event” Here Lies Love that was David Byrne and Fatboy Slim‘s surprising hit and an all-female take on Othello. There seems to have been something for just about everyone.
Broadway, with its glitzy star power and limitless marketing reach, saw a splash of color — the rainbow flag kind — when Harvey Fierstein‘s latest tuner Kinky Boots, arrived in the spring. Based on the 2006 indie drama, which helped launch the career of 2014 Oscar hopeful Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”), the musical adaptation featured the direction and choreography of Jerry Mitchell, the songs of Grammy Award-winning pop music veteran Cyndi Lauper and the big return of underrated dynamo Billy Porter, making a triumphant comeback to The Great White Way after nearly 15 years.
Read MORE of this Karu Daniels report at Playbill.
“MIke Tyson: Undisputed Truth” Broadway Premiere (L-R) Director Spike Lee, co-writer Lakiha Spicer and husband Mike Tyson
*“Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” finally makes its HBO premiere on Saturday (Nov. 16), with Spike Lee adapting the direction of his Broadway one-man show.
Tyson offers lots of personal stories that illustrate his journey from streets of Brooklyn to the spoils that come with being heavyweight champion of the world.
One of the more memorable stories in the show recounts the time during his acrimonious divorce from Robin Givens when he went to her house to get some (which he explains) …and caught her with Brad Pitt.
During a press conference for the Broadway show, he told the story to reporters.