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Billie! Backstage with Lady Day
July 28 @ 8:00 pm - July 30 @ 4:30 pm$20 – $35
The two-act play, written by Synthia L. Hardy and directed by Bryan Rasmussen combines storytelling and song to capture the essence of Billie Holiday’s music and life. In the first act, Holiday prepares for her show while answering the questions of two unseen reporters. Hardy as Holiday entwines her biography and explanations of the inspiration for and history of her music with performances of her popular numbers. Musician Woody Woods joins Hardy on stage as Holiday’s pianist accompanying her through hits including the haunting “Strange Fruit,” as well as “God Bless the Child,” “Good Morning Heartache,” and “Lover Man.”
One of the greatest jazz and blues performers of all time, Holiday unfolds the truth about her turbulent life – combating racism, navigating abusive relationships, and enduring multiple arrests.
In the second act, Hardy embodies Lady Day, (a nickname given to Holiday by musician Lester Young), in a concert of her hits that includes “’Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” and “Willow, Weep for Me.” Through a voice reminiscent of Holiday’s with its raspy edge and incorporation of crying and wailing, Hardy portrays the iconic artist as simultaneously classy and tough, vulnerable and versatile, hopeful at times and hopeless at others, but most of all, full of heart and sympathy.
Performances are July 28 (Friday) and 29 (Saturday) at 8 pm, and July 30 (Sunday) at 2 pm.