GSU to present play spotlighting jazz singer Billie Holiday

Press release

Audiences will step back in time during an intimate stage production that shines the spotlight on legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday on Thursday.

The Grambling State University Voice and Theatre programs will present the play “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22 at GSU’s Floyd L. Sandle Theatre of the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center.

Additional performances are set for 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday with a matinee set for 1 p.m., Saturday at the Central ARTSTATION – Shreveport Regional Arts Council, located at 801 Crockett Street in Shreveport.

A performance will also be livestreamed at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Accomplished vocalist and actress, Natorshau Davis stars in the title role with the creative team of award-winning director, Angelique Feaster Evans, music director William Taylor, and set designer David Kaul bringing Lanie Robertson’s powerful production to life.

Set in 1959 in a seedy Philadelphia bar, Robertson’s play treats the audience to one last performance by the legendary singer.

Holiday takes viewers on a journey through the ups and downs of her tumultuous life, combined with stunning renditions of her beloved repertoire. Over a dozen musical numbers are interwoven with salty, often humorous, memories to paint a mesmerizing picture of the icon, her life, and music. Among the songs heard in the show are “God Bless the Child,” “T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do”, and “Strange Fruit.”

The live performances at Grambling State University and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council are
free with limited seating. Registration is required at Safety protocols will be in place including temperature checks, social distancing, and required masks.

To register for the FREE live performances, visit

The cost of the livestream performance is $2.95 per viewing. To purchase, visit

Because the production contains strong language and content, it is recommended for ages 16 and up.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

For more information call 318-274-2106.

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