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Audra McDonald Contends Tony Legacy With a New Interpretation of the Late Billie Holiday in Price's 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill'

by Ian Holubiak   Apr 5, 2014 10:24 AM EDT

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Audra McDonald may be an over-achiever--with five Tony wins in the pocket (her latest for the drug-spouting lead in Porgy and Bess). And now, she yearns to net a sixth for her portrayal of, none other than, Billie Holiday. McDonald currently ties Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for wins.

We all know Holiday, the seminal voice that defined the popular music landscape and still has far-reaching influences on today's echelon of singers (or, at least, we would hope). The relevance of the singer and her life echoes through the timeline, offering new voices not just jazz standards, but a comparable female singing heavyweight.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill depicts a seedy bar in 1959 Philly, where Holiday gives a legendary performance a few months shy of her death. Directed by Lonny Price and written by Lanie Roberston, we hope McDonald gets the gold statue for a studded sixth win.

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