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The Francene Marie Show

Sundays 6:00am-7:00am

LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL

Janeta Jackson nails at 90-minute performance as she channels the role of playing Billie Holiday on stage at the Actors Theater of Charlotte titled: LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL. The play and atmosphere in the theater set the scene back to Philadelphia in 1959 as the late Billie Holiday gives one of her last performances, and trust me when I say, “it was AMAZING!” I attended on January 18th with my daughter and even she said the play is captivating!

The superb acting from Janeta Jackson is breathtaking as she engages up close with the audience, and might walk up to you, you never know! I thought the running time of 90-minutes with no intermission was going to be a bit much for me to sit through, but I didn’t want it to leave!!!!  Seriously, this play is worth its weight in gold because of Janeta and Willis Hickerson who play the piano-player in all the scenes. You can reserve your tickets, here.

A HUGE thank you to the Actors Theater of Charlotte for bringing this play to us in Charlotte, North Carolina! The ATC might be a good non-profit for you to support in 2020 because of the incredible works they present, plus they have volunteers who put their heart and soul into the work behind the scenes. I can’t remember everyone’s name I met that night working the box office and behind the stage except, Chip Decker the Executive Director of ATC along with the awesome Tony Mullins who is the Audience Services Manager and my broadcasting favorite, Shannon Reichley who booked the interview to promote the play. Much love to the Director of this play, Jeremy DeCarlos, who is over the top talented. Jeremy looks like Jimi Hendricks – he sings, he acts, he’s also a musician – he’s the total package. You can listen to Jeremy and me conducting a radio interview by clicking here.

Background about Janeta Jackson who plays Billie Holiday and Willis Hickerson, Jr. who plays the piano and the role of Jimmy Powers.

Janeta Jackson (Billie Holiday) is delighted to be making her Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte debut as the legendary Lady Day. Since graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, Janeta has traveled worldwide sharing her gifts and talents. Her favorite show credits include SISTER ACT (Deloris Van Cartier), BEEHIVE: THE 60’S MUSICAL (Jasmine), CROWNS (Jeanette) and SHREK: THE MUSICAL (Dragon). She is well recognized for her portrayal of the title role in the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte production of MARY POPPINS, for which she earned a Broadway World Award as Best Actress in a Musical. When she’s not on stage, this newlywed enjoys spending time with her family, embarking on new adventures and coaching aspiring performing artists. Janeta would like to dedicate this performance to a very special lady, her late mother, Janice J. Jackson, “Her love is my Gardenia.” Follow Janeta’s journey on Instagram @janetasvoice.

Willis Hickerson, Jr. (Music Director/Jimmy Powers) is a Grammy-nominated, Stellar award-winning musician and producer. Willis has been blessed to work with such international artists as Earth Wind and Fire, Melba Moore, Narada Michael Walden, Lecresia Campbell, Dorothy Norwood, Shirley Caesar, Daryl Coley, Yolanda Adams, and many others. As the owner and CEO of HIS Productions LLC, Willis has produced numerous CDs and video recordings. Willis has served as musical director for several stages plays including THE WIZ, CROWNS, DREAMGIRLS, THE BLACK NATIVITY, and LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL. Willis is currently the Director of Worship and Arts at The Park Church, Charlotte NC. Willis is pleased to have released his Grammy Nominated jazz instrumental recording “Soul Searching” and to have published his first book entitled “I’m Not a Therapist, I’m Just a Guy.”

You can reserve your tickets to see, here.