Cygnet Theater Presents “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”

| January 7, 2024 | 0 Comments

Cygnet Theatre is pleased to announce the cast and creative team of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” by Lanie Robertson. This riveting one-act musical is directed by Wren T. Brown, the artistic director at Ebony Repertory Theatre. It runs from Wednesday, January 24 through Sunday, February 18 at Cygnet Theatre, located at 4040 Twiggs Street in San Diego Old Town Historic State Park.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” recounts Billie Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous. 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime. Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.

Karole Foreman stars as Billie Holiday. Photo is courtesy of Craig Schwartz Photography.

Playing the jazz icon is San Diego native Karole Foreman, who has graced the Cygnet stage in “A Little Night Music.”  She said “I am looking forward to coming home to San Diego and to Cygnet Theatre to perform “Lady Day.” It’s been a profound opportunity to share Billie Holiday’s story with so many audiences, but I am particularly excited to be here in my hometown with this production. I also feel honored to be able to be a part of Cygnet’s final season in Old Town. It feels like a full circle moment.”

Artistic Director Sean Murray was thrilled to be able to include “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” in the Season 20 lineup. He said, “I’ve been dreaming of bringing Karole’s performance as the jazz legend Billie Holiday to our audience and to San Diego for some time. She has dazzled in this role since she debuted it in Los Angeles, and subsequently throughout the country for a couple of years now. Karole is one of Cygnet’s favorite performers and we are thrilled to share her take on Billie with San Diego. “

Karole will be accompanied by Damon Carteron piano as Jimmy Powers. Carter is also the musical director for the show.

In addition to direction by Wren T. Brown, the creative teamincludes original scenic design by Edward E. Haynes Jr., with Mathys Herbert as associate scenic designer. Sound design is by Evan Eason, lighting design by Donna Ruzika, costume design by Kimberly DeShazo, wig and makeup design by Peter Herman, and stage management by Craig Campbell.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased in person at the box office located at 4040 Twiggs Street in San Diego Old Town Historic State Park, by calling 619-337-1525, or by visiting Regular ticket prices start at $39. For more information, visit

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