Review: As "Lady Day," Audra McDonald Sings of Bad Breaks in Wonderful Songs

April 14, 2014 2:00 AM

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It’s Audra McDonald’s world—we’re all still just living in it. For proof, swing by the Circle in the Square, where the reigning Queen of the Rialto holds court in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” a late addition to this season’s Broadway calendar that showcases McDonald as jazz singer Billie Holiday.

Over 90 minutes, McDonald interprets more than a dozen of the combustible artist’s recordings, among them “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit.” The setting, a theatrical conceit, is a small bar in South Philly during spring 1959, a few months before Holiday will succumb to cirrhosis and heart f...

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