7.9/10
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Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (2016)

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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.

Director:

Lonny Price

Writer:

Lanie Robertson
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Audra McDonald ... Lady Day
Shelton Becton Shelton Becton ... Jimmy Powers
George Farmer George Farmer ... Bass
Clayton Craddock Clayton Craddock ... Drums
Roxie Roxie ... Pepi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debra Crowe Debra Crowe ... Bar Patron
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Audra McDonald won her record sixth Tony for performing "Lady Day at the Circle in the Square Theater". The Tony for leading actress in a play was also the fourth category she had won for. Previously winning Leading Actress in a Musical for the Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess", Featured Actress in a Musical for "Ragtime" and "Carousel", and Featured Actress in a Play for "Master Class" and "Raisin in the Sun". She holds the record for most awards for performance and is the only person to have won an award in every acting category. See more »

Soundtracks

When a Woman Loves a Man
Written by Johnny Mercer, Bernie Hanighan (as Hanighen) and Gordon Jenkins
Warner Brothers/ASCAP
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User Reviews

 
A Sloppy Drunken Masterpiece
16 March 2016 | by MDCrenshawSee all my reviews

I saw this in New York live with Audra McDonald in 2014. It was the most convincing acting that I had ever seen--especially live. The story and music have haunted me since that night. I always tell people that that night I did not see Audra McDonald perform; I saw Billie Holiday perform. From the moment it started, I was captivated. When I found out about it being on HBO, I was ecstatic. I would put the New York performance at comfortable 10. The only reason I am ranking this as a 9 is because I don't know what it's like to experience the HBO version without comparing it. There are very minute differences about the two; they're nearly identical. However, the HBO version is slightly less convincing at least in the beginning. From God Bless the Child to the end it's painfully intoxicating. I highly recommend it, and if you decide to watch it, take away all distractions. Imagine you are actually in the bar watching one of the greatest jazz musicians in history.


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