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Audra McDonald to Play Billie Holiday on Broadway

Tony award winner Audra McDonald has signed on to appear as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" on Broadway.

According to trusted sources, McDonald's engagement will begin April 13 and will last ten weeks.

"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" will be staged by Lonny Price, who worked with McDonald in the 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade. McDonald follows Eartha Kitt and Loretta Devine, who have appeared in the production, which was first launched off Broadway in 1986.

"It depicts an ill-tempered heroin addict defined by her suffering yet able to convey both pain and joy through her soulful interpretations of the blues and jazz," THR reports. "Holiday standards to be performed by McDonald in the play include "God Bless the Child," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Strange Fruit" and "Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness." McDonald and Price have been developing this revival together for more than two years. The production will include onstage table seating, drawing audience members into the performance."

Audra McDonald will begin preview performances on March 25. The official opening will take place April 13.

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