LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S
BAR & GRILL

  • 14 Sep – 15 Oct 23 Upstairs Theatre
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes (no interval)
Archived

LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S
BAR & GRILL

On Tour

Written by Lanie Robertson
Musical Arrangement by Danny Holgate
Directed by Mitchell Butel
Associate Directed by Zahra Newman

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 14 Sep – 15 Oct 23
  • Duration 1 hour and 30 minutes (no interval)
  • Content warning

    Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill includes adult themes, coarse language, herbal cigarettes, and includes references to sex, assault, racism, racial slurs and depiction of drug and alcohol use.

    Should you wish to speak to speak to a member of staff regarding running times, content warnings or any other show related queries, our box office can be contacted on 02 9699 3444.

The Tony award-winning tour-de-force that’s simply unmissable.

It’s 1959, in a bar in South Philadelphia. It’s a bit rundown. You wouldn’t know it, but we’re in a moment of history – one of Billie Holiday’s legendary last performances.

As she sings her set (and it’s the greats – ‘Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do, Strange Fruit, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Easy Livin’, God Bless the Child, and more) she shares the story of her life – a bit risqué, humorous, political, ecstatic, tragic. Lady Day comes to the fore as she looks back on a life, on an era.

It’s just fantastic we can get Zahra Newman back on our stage – and not just for her charisma and her acting prowess, we get to hear her sing, too. And that’s seriously worth twice the ticket price. These songs blow your mind and move you to tears. It’s Zahra and her band, and it’s great theatre, perfect for a space like Belvoir. – Eamon

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is produced by special arrangement with The Gersh Agency.

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TEAM

  • Lanie Robertson
    Writer
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    Lanie’s first plays The Insanity of Mary Girard and Back County Crimes are frequently performed by schools and community theatres. His play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill was produced on Broadway and in London’s West End with Audra McDonald. Many of his works are about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced: Nasty Little Secrets (Joe Orton), Woman Before […]

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  • Danny Holgate
    Musical Arranger
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    With a career spanning almost 50 years, the late Broadway musical director/arranger Danny Holgate was well known as the music orchestrator and arranger of an all-Black revival cast of Guys & Dolls. He also worked as musical director and arranger on Bubbling Brown Sugar and Eubie! He worked as the music arranger on the 2007 […]

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  • Mitchell Butel
    Director
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    Mitchell holds four Helpmann, three Sydney Theatre and two Green Room Awards for his work as a director and actor. His directing credits include The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Girls & Boys, Hibernation, Ripcord and Decameron 2.0 (State Theatre Company South Australia); The Loves of Apollo & Dafne (Pinchgut Opera); Caroline, or Change (Hayes […]

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  • Zahra Newman
    Associate Director
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    A graduate of VCA, Zahra has built an extensive list of theatre, television and film credits. In 2016 she was awarded an AACTA for Best New Talent and received a 2017 Sydney Theatre Award for her performance as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon. Other industry recognitions include a Green Room Award, CGA Award and […]

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  • Cast

  • Zahra Newman
    Billie Holiday
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    A graduate of VCA, Zahra has built an extensive list of theatre, television and film credits. In 2016 she was awarded an AACTA for Best New Talent and received a 2017 Sydney Theatre Award for her performance as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon. Other industry recognitions include a Green Room Award, CGA Award and […]

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  • Kym Purling
    Jimmy Powers
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    Kym has recently returned home to Australia and continues to enjoy an active and diverse international career spanning three decades. Previously based in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Paris, Kym has made significant contributions in the worlds of jazz and musical theatre. He has enjoyed a dual career as a musical director and […]

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  • Elenoa Rokobaro
    Alternate Performer – Billie Holiday
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    At the age of 16 Elenoa was plucked from the Australian International Performing Arts High School (AIPAH) to star in Respect: The Musical in 2007. Elenoa’s credits includeJoanne in Rent (Sydney Opera House); Susan in Tick, Tick…BOOM! (Storeyboard Entertainment); Fay Apple in Anyone Can Whistle and Well Behaved Women (Hayes Theatre); The Wife in The […]

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  • Victor Rounds
    Double Bass
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    Victor is one of Australia’s most sought-after musicians and has appeared on albums for some of the music industry’s most legendary artists including Tommy Emmanuel, James Morrison, Jenny Morris, Renee Geyer, Marcia Hines, Andrew Fariss (INXS), Margaret Urlich, Mark Williams, Gina Jefferiesplus many more. He has been accredited on over 150 albums to date, as […]

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  • Calvin Welch
    Drums
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    Calvin Welch is a drummer, percussionist, songwriter and performer originally from Michigan, USA. He started playing professionally while still in high school and cut his teeth touring the US and Europe with the likes of jazz keyboardist Eddie Russ and legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. His musical journey has since taken him around the world […]

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  • Creatives

  • Ailsa Paterson
    Set and Costume Designer
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    Ailsa completed the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Design (NIDA) in 2003. Recent design credits include The Marriage of Figaro (State Opera of SA), Tracker (ADT), A Christmas Carol and Boxing Day BBQ (Ensemble Theatre) and Watershed (Adelaide Festival). Set and costume design credits for State Theatre Company South Australia include Single Asian Female, Chalkface […]

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  • Govin Ruben
    Lighting Designer
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    Govin is a performance maker, designer and director based in Melbourne. He is also the director of TerryandTheCuz, a Malaysian/Australian company which has created an array of interdisciplinary arts projects in Australia and around the world. In recent years, he has led multiple international collaborations across various artforms such as theatre work Klue,Doh!, dance adaptation Flatland, […]

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  • Kym Purling
    Musical Director and Additional Arrangements
    image description

    Kym has recently returned home to Australia and continues to enjoy an active and diverse international career spanning three decades. Previously based in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Paris, Kym has made significant contributions in the worlds of jazz and musical theatre. He has enjoyed a dual career as a musical director and […]

    Read full bio
  • Andrew Howard
    Sound Designer
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    Andrew is Resident Sound Designer for State Theatre Company South Australia. His sound design credits for State Theatre Company South Australia include Prima Facie, Every Brilliant Thing, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Single Asian Female, The Normal Heart, Cathedral, Girls & Boys, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hibernation, The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race, Euphoria, […]

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  • Geraldine Cook-Dafner
    Voice and Dialogue Coach
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    Geraldine has worked for SBS, ABC, Malthouse, Hit Productions, Melbourne Theatre Company, Red Stitch and recently as language coach on Chopin’s Piano for Musica Viva and for the Michael Cassel Group on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and &Juliet. She has worked on Melbourne Theatre Company shows I Wanna Be Yours, Escaped Alone and […]

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  • Jennifer Innes
    Voice and Dialogue Coach
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    Jennifer works as a voice and dialect coach for film, television and theatre productions in Melbourne and Adelaide. She currently teaches at Flinders Drama Centre and works with private voice and dialect clients from all walks of life.  She studied acting and classical theatre at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Later, Jennifer […]

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  • Bridget Samuel
    Stage Manager
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    Bridget graduated from Adelaide College of the Arts in 2008. Her Stage Management credits for State Theatre Company South Australia include Every Brilliant Thing, Chalkface, Cathedral, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hibernation, Euphoria, After Dinner, The Comedy Of Errors, In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), Top Girls, The Glass Menagerie, The Ham Funeral […]

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  • Sean Proude
    Assistant Stage Manager
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    Sean is originally from Port Lincoln, South Australia and graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2014. Based in Sydney, his credits include Stage Manager of Triple X, Deputy Stage Manager of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Assistant Stage Manager for The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, The Tempest, RBG, How to […]

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Information
for schools

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    TERM 4

    Recommended for Years 10 – 12

    Schools Performances

    Tickets are only $25 per student with one complimentary teacher ticket for every ten students booked.
    • Wed, 11 Oct 2023 11:30am

    All schools performances are followed by a Q&A session with the cast.

    School groups can book any general public performance. Book our Thursday 1PM matinees for the schools performance price of $25 per ticket, or an evening performance from $43 per student.

    What to expect

    Belvoir creates for a wide audience and our productions may contain mature content. Accurate information about productions including running times and content is available once rehearsals have begun.

    Contact Us

    For more information about our education programs, please get in touch.

    Head of Education Jane May
    Education Manager Stevie Bryant
    +61 (2) 8396 6241

    Book your performance

    Complete this form to request tickets for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
    Want to book multiple productions? Head to our full Schools Booking request

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