Published On: Sun, Nov 24th, 2013

Local boy makes good: Stephen Stahl scores big with ‘Lady Day’

stephen stahlAside from being well-known in theater circles, Stephen Stahl has always been something of a New Hope celebrity, as well. But as the play he wrote and directs, ‘Lady Day,’ continues to draw crowds at the Little Shubert Theater in New York City, Stahl’s star is only rising.

This week Stahl confirmed that dazzling jazz artist and Tony/Grammy award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater has signed on for another year in the lead role.

“I knew that if I was going to do this right, I had to wait for Dee Dee. She makes the show. This is her and [co-star] Billy Jolly,” reflected Stahl.

Bridgewater has won accolades in the role of Billy Holiday, legendary jazz performer renowned for her remarkable voice and troubled life. Lady Day walks a difficult line between being a glitzy concert tribute and a dramatic biography, but Stahl seems to hit the right balance.

Although his production and directorial credits include over 150 stage shows, Lady Day has special meaning for Stahl. “I relate so strongly to Billy because of her past, and also her phrasing.”

And whether or not one knows Stephen personally or is a theater buff, many around town can’t help but feel pride and inspiration that someone from our little square mile is making a splash around Broadway.

Lady Day is playing at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 W. 42nd St., in New York City; (212) 239-6200 or Telecharge.

 

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- “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

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