By Lanie Robertson
Musical Arrangements by Danny Holgate
Directed by Jeffrey L. Page
Honorary Producers Alice L. George & Lou Oschmann

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

This show’s runtime is 90 minutes, with no intermission.

APR 6 – APR 30, 2023

All seats for this production will be on stage as we re-create Emerson’s Bar and Grill for a truly extraordinary, immersive experience. Our new seating arrangement will be three tiered price zones. Within these price zones, seating will be general admission and seated first come, first served.

To ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests, we ask that parents and guardians refrain from bringing children under the age of 3 to the performance.

Lady Day Seating Chart 4.27.23

THE playwright & DIRECTOR

His first plays, The Insanity of Mary Girard and Back County Crimes are frequently performed by schools and community theatres. His play about Billie Holiday Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill was produced on Broadway and in London’s West End with Audra McDonald. 

Many of his works are about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced: Nasty Little Secret (Joe Orton); Woman Before a Glass (Peggy Guggenheim); Alfred Stieglitz Loves O’Keeffe (Georgia O’Keeffe); Nobody Lonesome for Me (Hank Williams); The Gardener (Claude Monet); and Blythe Coward (Noel Coward).

His works have been produced at the Alley Theatre, the Alliance Theatre; Annenberg Center, Arena Stage, Barrington Stage, the Edinburgh Festival, Festival d’Avignon, George St. Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Old Globe, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, Theatre de la Huchette, Theatre Petit Montparnasse, Theatre Silvia Montfort, Westside Arts Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, Virginia Stage, the Walnut Street Theatre, West Side Arts Theater, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.  

His first novel is to be published in 2024.

He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, the Society des Auteur et Compositeurs Dramatiques, and the Writers Guild, East.

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Jeffrey L. Page is an Emmy-nominated director and choreographer. He is the co-director and choreographer of the Broadway revival of 1776, now on national tour. Page was choreographer on the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Violet. His Barrington Stage production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ earned a NYTimes Critic’s Pick and multiple Berkshire Theatre Awards. His Tokyo productions of Memphis (2015, 2018) and Jamie (2021) garnered multiple Yomiuri Award nominations, including Best Musical in Japan.

Page won an MTV Video Music Award for his work with Beyoncé, whose creative team have included him for more than 12 years. His work was featured on Beyoncé’s “The Formation World Tour,” in her historic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival performance, and in two of her HBO specials. Page was the associate creative director for Mariah Carey’s “Sweet, Sweet Fantasy European Tour,” and has been a featured choreographer on Fox Television’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” He is the creative director for singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, most recently working with her on the 2020 BET Soul Train Music Awards.

While obtaining his MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University, Page became the first African American to be named the Marcus Institute Fellow for Opera Directing at The Juilliard School. In 2019, he was awarded the Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 2021, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Muhlenberg College. 

In 2016, Page established Movin’ Legacy as an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the ethnology and documentation of contemporary and traditional dance from Africa and the African diaspora. Page received a Fulbright-Hays Program award for this research work.

Page is a lecturer in Theatre, Dance, and Media at Harvard University and the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School. He is the Artist Fellow at the American Repertory Theater and the Resident Artist at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Page’s current projects are Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Philadelphia Theatre Company and Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Westport Country Playhouse, following a successful co-production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Geva Theatre Center.


Laurin Talese (Lady Day) has been captivating audiences with her pure tone and poignant lyrics since childhood. A Cleveland, Ohio native, Laurin was classically trained at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Cleveland School of the Arts, and later received a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her debut album, Gorgeous Chaos, produced by Emmy-winning producer Adam Blackstone and released in 2016, features a stellar lineup of musicians and was met with wide acclaim.

Ms. Talese’s talents have allowed her to travel around the globe, performing in a host of internationally renowned venues including the Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in 2018 when Laurin won the seventh annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.  Laurin Talese is proud to represent the United States as a cultural ambassador with American Music Abroad – an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by the Association of American Voices. Following in the footsteps of former Ambassadors Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck, Laurin Talese performs for international audiences and leads educational workshops to bring jazz to new populations.

In 2021, Ms. Talese made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut performing repertoire, including her original composition, “This Love” conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Laurin Talese enjoys serving as Vice President of the Recording Academy’s Philadelphia Chapter and on the boards of Jazz Philadelphia, and the University of the Arts’ Alumni Council. In 2022, Laurin premiered her newest work, Museum Of Living Stories, commissioned by Chamber Music America.⁣⁣⠀

Will Brock is the music director and plays Billie Holiday’s pianist Jimmy Powers. Brock is a composer and producer. He has performed around the world with Marion Meadows and Gerald Veasley, and other Jazz icons. His music has been featured on national and international TV and radio ads, and TV shows like “Emeril Live,” “Army Wives,” “The Guiding Light,” “Studio Jams,” and others. Feature Films include Cover, the 2008 thriller by Bill Dukes.

THE creative team

Thom Weaver (Scenic and Lighting Designer) PTC: 4,000 Miles, Exit Strategy, Venus in Fur, Disgraced, Hand to God. Off-Broadway: Sandra (Vineyard), The Total Bent (Public), Kingdom Come (Roundabout), Exit Strategy (Primary Stages), King Hedley II, How I Learned What I Learned, The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre Company); Teller’s Play Dead (The Players Theater). Regional: Huntington, Arden, Wilma (Associate Artist), Alliance, Milwaukee Rep, Chicago Shakespeare, Getty, Children’s Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, Portland Center Stage, Folger Theatre, Asolo Rep, Round House, Hangar, CenterStage, California Shakespeare Theater, Syracuse Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Spoleto, Lincoln Center Festival, and Yale Repertory Theatre, as well as numerous designs with Pilobolus. Awards: two Jeff Awards, six Barrymore Awards and two AUDELCO Awards. Education: Carnegie Mellon and Yale. He is a member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and Co-Founder of Die-Cast. He/him. Black Lives Matter.

Tiffany Bacon (Costume Designer) The Creative & Production Director for WURD Radio, began her career in radio in 1990 at WRTI. At Power 99FM she created Inner City, a show that broke new artists like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild and more. Tiffany Bacon is the co-author of a health & wellness program for African American teens. Talking Matters is currently being tested for effectiveness by the Research & Evaluation Group at Public Health Management Corporation. Tiffany is also a freelance costume designer whose work has been featured at Quintessence Theatre Group, The Lantern Theater Company, Theatre Exile, & Passage Theatre, to name a few. Tiffany is the 2022 winner of the Philadelphia Best Costume Design for a Play or Musical for the Theatre in the X production of Dreamgirls.

Robert Kaplowitz (Sound Designer) is passionate about the intersection of story, society and deliberately curated sound and music. He’s spent 28 years creating work as a sound designer and composer for theater, opera, art installations, and film, and has been honored with a Tony Award for Fela! and an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence. He developed his dramaturgically driven approach to design in his years with James Houghton at the O’Neill Playwrights Center. He is also on the faculty at Princeton, a co-founder of We Embrace Fatherhood (, and a proud spouse and parent. He dedicates this year’s shows to the memory of Luqman Brown.

Angela Cucco (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be back in the saddle with her first production at PTC. She has previously stage managed for ten seasons at the Walnut Street Theater, and has spent time stage managing at Williamstown Theatre Festival, George Street Playhouse, Vineyard Playhouse, New York International Fringe Festival, and Philly Fringe. Thanks to Mom and Dad, the Castellanos, and the FCM family. Love to David. For Lori.