Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

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Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

By Lanie Robertson
Directed by Kenneth Roberson

MARCH 20 - MAY 16, 2021
Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre

Dates subject to change.


A captivating play with music.
One of the greatest jazz singers of all time is about to play one of her last and most intimate performances. It’s 1959 at Emerson’s Bar and Grill in Philadelphia, and Billie Holiday — known as Lady Day — tells the story of her life through her music with heartfelt honesty and a touch of salty humor. Accompanied by her pianist Jimmy Powers, she engages deeply with her audience as she reminisces about her rocky past, her loves and heartbreaks, and her experiences as a traveling performer on the Chitlin’ Circuit. This captivating and moving play with music features over a dozen jazz standards like “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” “When a Woman Loves a Man” and “What a Little Moonlight Can Do.”

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.


To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our safety focus on performances, we will be suspending our in-person, ancillary events for the 2020-21 season. This includes post-show opening night parties, Meet the Artists and Playhouse Perspectives. Stay tuned for virtual opportunities to engage with Playhouse artists.