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It's 1959 in a seedy bar in Philadelphia, and Billie Holiday is giving one of her last performances interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music 4 months before her death.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill movie full length review - Audra Channels Billie, Brilliantly!
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill has been done too many times and thank God for that! For if this version was never done we would all be missing out on something incredibly Great!
I'm speaking of the great Audra McDonald. So great she is, you forget that you are not really watching the great late Lady Day herself.
Ms. McDonald doesn't just embodies Lady Day, she captures her movements, speaking, singing and cussing vernacular to the umpteenth degree. Anyone who knows Ms. McDonald's work can attest to the fact that she is certainly multi talented but what she does with this performance is on a whole 'nother level.
You will enjoy all of her colorful commentary and musical numbers but let me caution you, (spoiler alert) you will witness a sad and oftentimes pitiful Lady Day as she slowly succumbs to her drunken druggy mess. Certainly gone too soon! Bravo, Audra McDonald!