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Subject: Re: Audra McDonald on Colbert Report
From: Elizabeth Thorpe <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Elizabeth Thorpe <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 May 2014 21:15:14 -0400
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 I saw the play Sunday afternoon and found Audra McDonald's performance to be amazing.  Hearing her sing in the voice of Billie Holiday was eerie and awesome (in the true sense of the word).  Audra McDonald's normal singing voice is so glorious that it took me awhile to get used to hearing a different sound coming from her and it was mildly disorienting to adapt to this being a play in which Billie Holiday was being portrayed, not a nightclub performance in which Audra McDonald was singing Billie Holiday's music.  

Standing in the autograph line is not my normal practice, but the performance moved me to withstand the cold in order to offer congratulations on a memorable performance.

 
Liz Thorpe


 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, May 1, 2014 8:47 pm
Subject: Re: Audra McDonald on Colbert Report


I've seen the play. Not with Audra, but with a marvelous actress in Boston 
a few seasons ago, SHE was the reason to see it - I have to say that in my 
opinion, the play itself ain't all that good. The reason the show works, if 
one feels it does, is due to an actress' ease being very exposed with the 
audience (in a similar way that a good cabaret artist would be very 
comfortable taking in the audience as part of a performance - not just 
hiding behind a character), and of course, the songs. And yes, giving us 
some sense of Holiday's sound, fragility, and struggles. But the actual 
writing is, IMO, only so-so. 

No, not a great play, nevertheless one that gives the right actress the 
chance to transcend the material and astound. And from what I can tell, 
Audra is seizing the moment. 



On Thu, 1 May 2014 14:34:46 -0400, G. Paul Padillo 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Hermine wrote (in part):
>
>"Perhaps it is never a good idea to try to reproduce another person."
>
>
>I couldn't disagree more on this one, Hermine!   I love biopics and bio-
plays, 
>even when the truth is mildly obscured or altered for entertainment 
purposes.   
>I wouldn't (and thankfully don't need to) imagine my life without 
Interrupted 
>Melody, Ray, The Doors, Life With Judy Garland, Walk the Line, Coal 
Miner's 
>Daughter, Yankee Doodle Dandy, La Bamba, The Buddy Holly Story, Sid 
and 
>Nancy, La Vie en Rose, Bird, The Waltz King (okay, okay, I'll stop 
already).  
>
>NY Times critic Charles Isherwood pretty much pans "Lady Day at 
Emerson's 
>Bar and Grill" (praises the singing, while trashing the play with the 
following 
>inane observation:
>
>"The play’s conceit is, frankly, artificial and a bit hoary. A victim of severe 

>stage nerves, Holiday preferred to sing in a tight spotlight so she 
couldn’t even 
>see the audience, and would at no point in her career have been likely to 
dish 
>up her life for public consumption in such a way."
>
>An unnecessary attack which entirely misses the point:  this is a play, not 
a 
>recreation of an actual Billy Holiday performance.  But, he knew that 
going in, 
>which is what makes his attack all the more ludicrous. 
>
>Others reviews (as well as some folk I've spoken with who've seen the 
show) 
>have been the opposite, calling it remarkable, eerie, haunting, edgily 
>uncomfortable and heart breaking.  
>
>p.
>http://sharkonarts.blogspot.com/
>
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