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‘Lady Day’ at the Armory

Famed jazz singer comes to life in riveting portrait

5/30/2018, 12:07 p.m.
Deidrie Henry returns to The Armory to star as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a ...
Deidrie Henry as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," a riveting portrait of Holiday’s life that features iconic songs like “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit.” The show opens Friday, June 1 and continues through July 1 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. Photo by Kate Szrom

Deidrie Henry returns to The Armory to star as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a riveting portrait of the famed jazz singer’s life told through an imagined final performance in a small bar in South Philadelphia in 1959.

Featuring iconic songs like “God Bless the Child,” “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” “When a Woman Loves a Man,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Strange Fruit,” the show is an all-access pass to Holiday’s humor and hopefulness, as the legendary singer takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of her tumultuous life, interspersed with exuberant renditions of her beloved repertoire.

Henry, who most recently played Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at The Armory, will be joined on stage by Abdul Hamid Royal, the production’s music director who also plays the role of Jimmy Powers, along with local musicians Charles Neal (drums) and James H. Leary (bass) who steps in for Andre St. James. St. James had already pulled out of the production because of health complications and sadly he passed away over the weekend, production officials said.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” opens on Friday, June 1, and runs through July 1 on the Armory’s U.S. Bank Main Stage.

Regular tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at pcs.org, by phone at 503-445-3700 or in-person at the box office at 128 N.W. 11th Ave. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program.

For more information visit www.pcs.org/ladyday.