CD Giveaway: Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

AudraMcDonaldLadyDayCD Giveaway: Win the Broadway cast recording — released today both digitally and in stores – of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar Grill,” starring Audra McDonald, who won her record-breaking sixth Tony Award for her portray of Billie Holiday.

Update July 24: Congratulations to the winner, James Kennedy.

The two-disc set was recorded live by PS Classics during performances of the show in May and include the stories that McDonald as Holiday tells during the show as well as some of the seminal jazz singer’s best-known songs, including “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”   (see track listing, and some samples directly from the album, below)

To enter the contest to win the CD, answer ONE of the following questions:

1. What is your favorite Audra McDonald performance AND WHY?


2. Has a cast recording ever changed your mind – for good or for ill – about a show you had seen previously? EXPLAIN!
Rules of the contest:
1. Please put your answer in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, because the winner will be chosen through based on the order of your reply, not its content.
But you must answer the question, complete with explanation, or your entry will not be approved for submission.
2. Please include in your answer your Twitter name and follow my Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater so that I can send you a direct message. (If you don’t have a Twitter name, create one. It’s free.)
3. This contest ends Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at midnight Eastern Time, and I will make the drawing no later than noon the next day. You must respond to my direct message on Twitter within 24 hours or I will choose another winner.
(4. All submissions have to be approved, so you won’t necessarily see your entry right away: Please be patient, and don’t submit more than once.)


Album track listing

Disc One:

  1. Introduction
  2. I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone
  3. When a Woman Loves a Man
  4. “I’m even glad to be back in Philly…”
  5. “I want to introduce my accompanist…”
  6. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
  7. “We got this contract…”
  8. Crazy He Calls Me
  9. “They used to be hangin’ from the rafters…”
  10. Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer)
  11. “That was in the early thirties…”
  12. Baby Doll
  13. “I better watch myself here…”
  14. God Bless the Child
  15. “That was for my mama…”

Disc Two:

  1. “Nobody but me ever liked Sonny…”
  2. Foolin’ Myself/Somebody’s on My Mind
  3. Easy Living
  4. “I was singin’ with Artie’s band…”
  5. Strange Fruit
  6. “It’s bad again, Jimmy…”
  7. Blues Break
  8. “Now I’ll take a little break right here…”
  9. ‘Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do
  10. “I want you all to meet Pepi…”
  11. “I was doin’ the bad drugs heavy…”
  12. Don’t Explain / What a Little Moonlight Can Do (Reprise)
  13. Deep Song

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

14 thoughts on “CD Giveaway: Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

  1. My all-time favorite Audra McDonald performance was her concert at The Long Center in Austin, TX this past February. It was the second time I’d seen her perform live, but the first time I’d ever seen her in concert. I could only afford the “cheap seats” in back of the auditorium, but this was, hands down, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life. From beginning to end, Audra wowed the crowd with everything from old Broadway favorites to new songs off her latest album. The evening went by entirely too quickly, and left me wanting more, more, more; I could listen to this woman sing the alphabet! A truly wonderful and memorable experience!


  2. My favorite Audra performance is Sarah from Ragtime. That cast recording is phenomenal and her song “Your Daddy’s Son” is hauntingly beautiful

  3. I would see this woman do ANYTHING. She is the greatest living legend. My favorite performance was Bess. I’m tempted to say the first time I saw her in concert, in 2001 at the opening of the Kimmel Center, when she completely blew my mind and made me a lifelong fan. But her Bess was absolutely off the charts and I wish I could see that production again.

  4. My favorite Audra McDonald performance would have to be Bess in the revival of “Porgy & Bess.” Audra has literally been the reason for me going into the theatre. I always thought people that it was funny when African American singers attempted to do legitimate classic music theatre/opera. Went to school, got my B.F.A., and became Equity because of Audra. But her performance in “Porgy & Bess” was so transcendent. It was unlike anything that she has ever done up until this point. The range of emotions she had to display WHILE singing that difficult, glorious score is such a testament to her work ethic and is the reason I adore her so much. My Twitter handle is williamstatham.

  5. One of my earliest musicals was the Canadian premiere of Frank Wildhorn’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, which I only ended up seeing because my uncle was in it. I was only 8 years old at the time, and it was totally thrilling for me. My uncle gave me a VHS tape of the production when it was finished and I watched and re-watched it obsessively.

    Then I got the cast recording over ten years later, and something about it wasn’t right. Maybe it was my age, but the musical I once found electrifying was now totally campy, melodramatic, and featured some pretty but predictable melodies. It still holds a special place because of my history with it, but it’ll never hold the magic it once did.

  6. I saw American Idiot on Broadway shortly after it opened, and found it to be nothing more than a mediocre night of theatre, and quickly forgot about it. About a year later, I was given the recording by a friend and gave it a listen, just to revisit what I had previously seen. Upon listening to the CD, I discovered how hauntingly beautiful, deep, and meaningful many of the songs were. I was almost ashamed of myself for not realizing this at the show. To this day American Idiot remains one of my favorite shows, and “21 Guns” a favorite song of mine.

    Twitter contact: @BroadwayManiac4

  7. My favorite Audra performance would have to be Mother Abbess (sp?) in The Sound of Music. Her rendition of “Climb Every Mountian” was so breathtaking and beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. Even though she was not the spotlight of that production she took what she had and went above and beyond everyone’s expectations. To this day I still tear up a bit whenever I listen to the soundtrack.

    Twitter: @clemons_taylor

  8. I loved Audra’s performance in “110 in the Shade” because I found her character so appealing and vulnerable which complemented the score quite nicely. She fit in nicely with the other cast members and did not overwhelm the production. She thus made her character believable and thus allowed you to root for her in her relationships with Starbucks and File. Plus she sang the score beautifully!

  9. I had only heard so-so reviews for Matilda the Musical from all of my friends who had seen the show. I knew I wanted to see it because I am a fan of a few members of the cast. So I got the recording before even knowing when I was going to the show and could not stop listening to it. I thought the music was awesome! When I finally bought tickets to the show, I was going with friends who didn’t really enjoy the show the first time. I told them to get the music and listen to it before seeing the show again. So they did and they enjoyed it a lot more the second time going into the show knowing the music.


  10. While I was fortunate enough to see @LadyDayonBway, my favourite @AudraEqualityMc experience was when she preformed in Austin, Texas. She had been scheduled ten years before and had to cancel and was scheduled to preform in October 2013, and had to cancel, so seeing her 2x in a year was magical. The best part of the show was when she encouraged all the young musical theater high school students to continue their dreams and reminded the audience the first Austin Musical Theater High School Awards were taking place later this spring. Watching the kids preform a few months later was a lot of fun.

    Twitter: @6thgradersrule

  11. My favorite performance of Audra’s will always be her stunning Bess in Porgy & Bess, not only because it was simply magnificent but also because it was the first time I was able to see her perform live. I’ve been a fan for many years, but I never lived in close proximity to NYC, so although I owned every album she’d ever sung on, I had never experienced a performance of hers in person. I saw her as Bess three times, sitting from the 2nd row every time, and I’ll never forget when she first walked on and commanded the whole stage. And then she started to sing, and it was one of my favorite experiences at the theatre…ever.

    Twitter: @jamesholod

  12. It’s so hard to pick only one favorite Audra performance. I would have to say Sarah in Ragtime. I never got to see her perform, but I have listened to the cast recording over and over. She brings such emotion into that character. I can picture her on the empty stage just taking hold of the audience. Audra was also only 26 when she was in Ragtime, and to have created a character of that depth shows MAJOR talent.

  13. My favorite Audra McDonald performance was in Sound of Music because it was an unexpected role and she was moving and powerful. @mymusicboxes

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