Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this spring singing the blues as Billie Holiday.
Producers said Tuesday that the five-time Tony Award-winner will star in Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, a musical that imagines one of Holiday’s last performances in 1959.
Previews begin March 25 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, and opening night is set for April 13. The venue will allow some lucky members of the audience to sit at tables onstage.
Her new show, to be directed by Lonny Price, puts an ailing Holiday in a small club in Philadelphia and lets McDonald sing such timeless classics as Somebody’s On My Mind, Don’t Explain and Strange Fruit.
‘Late Night’ boon
Nielsen says Seth Meyers is off to a good start hosting NBC’s Late Night.
The premiere of Late Night with Seth Meyers averaged 3.4 million viewers in fast official ratings from Nielsen. NBC says that’s the biggest audience for a Monday Late Night in nine years. The network says it also beat the 2009 debut of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon by more than a half-million viewers.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon topped Monday’s combined audience for CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live in the time period.
Girl to host ‘SNL’
Saturday Night Live is getting a visit from a girl.
Lena Dunham, star of the HBO series Girls, will make her SNL hosting debut March 8. She will be joined by first-time musical guests The National, NBC said in a news release Tuesday.
Among celebrity birthdays today: Singer Fats Domino is 86. Actor-director Bill Duke is 71. Singer Mitch Ryder is 69. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain is 64. Singer Michael Bolton is 61. Actor Greg Germann is 56. Actress Jennifer Grant is 48. Singer Erykah Badu is 43. Singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 35.