By PAM HARBAUGH
I do hope you will make it a point to come see LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL. The show opens tonight and runs through Feb. 19 in the second floor Studio Theater at the Henegar Center.And yes, I’ve directed it…but aside from that. I want you to come experience a remarkable performance by KRISTEN WARREN and some great jazz music led by the superb JARRED ARMSTRONG on piano and featuring ETHAN BAILEY-GOULD on bass and ASHTON BAILEY-GOULD on drums.
Rather than a musical, this is a one-woman play with music. Written by Lanie Robertson, the play is set in the historic Emerson’s Tavern in Philadelphia where legendary jazz singer Billie “Lady Day” Holiday performs shortly before before her death at age 44. In the play, Billie sings and tells stories of her life, which was rife with challenges born out of racism.
However, her humor, love of singing and performing for “her friends” at small nightclubs raised her out of what would have buried most people.
It’s just impossible not to be moved by Billie’s stories, the music and the performances. If you’re like me, you’ll be snapping your fingers then wiping away your tears. Add to that some absolutely gorgeous lighting design by Josh Huss and intimate nightclub setting designed by Brighid Reppert and you get something that’s a unique theater experience for this area.I betcha this is going to gather steam. Already word is out and tickets are selling fast. Tickets are $20 general, $18 for military and seniors and $15 for students. Be advised, this show has language galore and adult subject matter. The Henegar is at 625 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne. Call the Henegar at 321-723-8698, visit Henegar.org or click onto their ad.