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Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday” at Black History Month Play Festival Feb 28 - March 2

Woodie King Directs Vanessa Rubin in “Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday” and Douglas Turner Ward Directs a Celebrity Reading of “The People of Clarendon County” Starring Kene Holliday at National Black Theatre in Harlem

Vanessa Rubin portraying Billie Holiday
Vanessa Rubin portraying Billie Holiday
NEW YORK - Feb. 27, 2014 - PRLog -- Woodie King Jr’s National Black Touring Circuit’s 2014 Black History Month Play Festival will present “Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday” from February 28 – March 2 at National Black Theater, 2031 Fifth Avenue.  Performances are Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm; Saturday, March 1 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 2 at 4:00pm.

“Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday” starring Vanessa Rubin, written by Reenie Upchurch and directed by Woodie King Jr. is a fictional portrayal of Billie Holiday’s last show in New York, where she died in 1959.

“I am a jazz singer and I also consider myself a strong African American woman,” said Rubin. “I was happy to embrace the opportunity to portray the character of such a strong black woman like Billie Holiday.”

Against the backdrop of a small nightclub, Rubin as Holiday poignantly shares personal and professional memories from childhood to racism to stardom to drugs. Intertwined is the stylistic singing of classics “God Bless the Child,” “Don’t Explain” and “Fine and Mellow.”

“I love to sing and her songs are some of the best to interpret. Her original "God Bless The Child", in a sense started my career as a jazz singer,” explained Rubin. “I am grateful to Woodie King to have selected this play to produce and direct and especially glad that he chose to me to tell her unforgettable story.”

On Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm, there will be a celebrity reading of Ossie Davis’ classic drama The People of Clarendon County.”

Douglas Turner Ward, the acclaimed director of Pulitzer Prize winning “A Soldier’s Play,” Obie and Drama Desk award-winning actor and the co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company, directs the celebrity reading of “The People of Clarendon County.” Clarendon County, a rural community in South Carolina, was the battleground of black sharecroppers, domestic workers, laborers and clergymen who joined with the NAACP to fight for better schools for Black children.  It stars Kene Holiday (“Matlock,” “Great World of Sound”), Elain Graham (“666 Park Avenue,” “Smash”) and Kim Sullivan (“In the Wine Time”).

Woodie King, Jr., the producer/director of the National Black Touring Circuit and Kim Weston Moran, associate producer, produce the Black History Month Play Festival.

The Black History Month Play Festival performance tickets are $25. Group rates for 10 or more are $20 each. TDF is accepted. For tickets call (212) 279-4200. For group rates call 917-723-3769. For questions, contact natblktc@aol.com

The National Black Touring Circuit was founded in 1974, by Woodie King, Jr. to make existing Black theatre productions available to a larger audience by presenting to the Black communities at large, to colleges, to Black art centers, and to resident professional theatres. This program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Time Warner, Inc., West Harlem Development Corporation and individual contributions.

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National Black Touring Circuit

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Source:National Black Touring Circuit
Location:New York City - New York - United States
Industry:Arts, Entertainment
Tags:Woodie King, Vanessa Rubin, Billie Holiday, Ossie Davis, Douglas Turner Ward
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