NEWARK, NJ, August 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Don't miss an exclusive Jazz and Broadway experience when WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM joins forces with The Actors Fund to host a special benefit performance of Lady Day, the new musical about Billie Holiday starring Tony and multiple Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater on Tuesday, September 24, at 7:00 pm at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) in New York City. Tickets for Lady Day are on sale now.---
Bridgewater's friend, the renowned classical vocalist Jessye Norman, will serve as the evening's Honorary Chair and Hostess. The two have collaborated on past projects including Honor! A Celebration of African American Cultural Legacy, a month-long festival curated by Norman for Carnegie Hall.
"This benefit is another outstanding partnership that brings together the spirit of Broadway and Jazz," said Amy Niles, Acting President and CEO of WBGO. "It is a natural progression to continue to unite the fans of the two musical genres as we pay tribute to the incomparable Billie Holiday. To watch our own Dee Dee Bridgewater in this incredible portrayal while benefiting WBGO and The Actors Fund is even more special."
Benefit tickets are $88, including the performance and post-show Talk Back. A limited number of tickets are available at $250, which includes premium seating, pre-show cocktail reception and post-show Talk Back. Proceeds from the September 24 performance only, benefit WBGO and The Actors Fund; all sales are final and tickets cannot be exchanged, refunded or re-sold. Tickets and further information: http://www.WBGO.org/LadyDay.
Previews for Lady Day begin September 19 and the opening is slated for October 3.
Told through onstage triumphs and backstage personal trials, Lady Day shares the heart-wrenching story of Billie Holiday's attempt at a final comeback performance. Bridgewater brings alive the essence and spirit of Holiday while featuring more than 25 standards including: "Don't Explain," "Good Morning Heartache," "A Foggy Day (In London Town)," "Them There Eyes," "Strange Fruit," "My Man," "God Bless the Child," and "Mean to Me."
Host of WBGO's JazzSet, which airs on NPR stations across the nation, Bridgewater has received nine Grammy Award nominations and three wins: Best Jazz Vocal Album for "Dear Ella," Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal for "Cotton Tail" (from "Dear Ella"), and the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.
Broadway audiences will remember her role as Glinda, the Good Witch, in The Wiz, a performance that won her the Tony Award's Best Featured Actress in a Musical and showcased her incredible voice, beauty and stage presence. In addition to her concert performances around the world, Ms. Bridgewater serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador for the. No stranger to the stage, she has starred in productions of Sophisticated Ladies, Cosmopolitan Greetings, Black Ballad, Carmen Jazz and Cabaret.
Along with Bridgewater, David Ayers (Wicked and SILENCE!) in the role of "Robert," Billie Holiday's Manager, and newcomer Rafael Poueriet in the role of the "Assistant Stage manager" as well as James Cammack (veteran bass player for legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal), , Jerome Jennings (performer & drummer for Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins) and Bill Jolly (three-time Emmy Award winning pianist/composer/arranger) in the roles of the onstage musicians, complete the acting ensemble.
Written and directed by Stephen Stahl, the musical will make its New York debut having been produced at the Theatre de Boulogne-Billancourt and Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell in Paris as well as The Donmar Warehouse and The Piccadilly Theatre in London, where it received critical praise and garnered an Olivier "Best Actress in a Musical" Award nomination for Ms. Bridgewater. Produced by Misty Road Productions, the show's creative team also includes Mr. Jolly, who will serve as musical director.
Founded in 1979, Newark Public Radio, Inc. is a publicly supported cultural institution that champions jazz at WBGO 88.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey and worldwide via wbgo.org. WBGO is the recognized world leader in jazz radio and one of the most respected jazz presenters in the country, and offers award-winning news and innovative children's programs. Beyond reaching 450,000 weekly listeners (including 17,000 contributing members) on air, online and via mobile devices, WBGO presents live broadcasts from prestigious jazz venues and produces acclaimed programs for NPR heard by millions.
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone - performers and those behind the scenes - who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 13,500 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has - for 131 years - been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit http://www.actorsfund.org.
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