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Audra McDonald Takes HBO in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

The Broadway star's Tony-winning performance comes to the small screen.

Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill on Broadway.
(© Evgenia Eliseeva)

Audra McDonald will bring her performance as jazz icon Billie Holiday to HBO this evening at 9pm eastern time in the debut broadcast of Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.

Filmed before a live audience at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans, McDonald reprises the role that earned her a record-breaking sixth Tony Award. The musical stage play opened at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre April 13, 2014 and after several extensions closed on October 5, 2014.

Set in 1959 at a seedy Philadelphia bar, the play with music relives Holiday's last performance, taking place only four months before her death at age 44. The show's musical numbers include "God Bless the Child," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Strange Fruit," and "'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do." The production made its New York debut off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in 1986 and has since gone on to tour the world.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill was directed by Lonny Price and originally produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jessica Genick, and Will Trice.

The special will also be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO.