Thoroughly enjoyed this. As others have pointed out, the play is fine, but the performance sensational. I'd pay to watch Audra sing the phone book, but this was something very, very special. She really becomes Billie Holliday.
However, those cabaret tables at the front of the stalls are very uncomfortable. but love the ambience of it all...
I'm not sure I can add anything constructive to what has already been written, but I thought this was AM-A-ZING. I'm not one for hyperbole, but the way that Audra McDonald inhabits that role for 1 hour 50 minutes, with perhaps just three or four minutes offstage, is truly breathtaking. I had to keep reminding myself that I was watching Audra (we're now on first name terms!) playing Billie Holiday, rather than Billie Holiday herself. No wonder she's won every award known to man. Credit must also go to the three musicians, and sundry audience members for playing along, including 'cigarette man'.
Sadly, the top two levels were closed, with the other two not full either. Although, on one hand, the cabaret performance depicted on stage suited a more intimate audience, I am also slightly angry. Where was everybody? The queue for the TKTS booth was probably the longest I have ever seen, so there was clearly high demand for theatre tickets on a warm Wednesday in mid-August.
The top two levels were closed when I went too, but the tables, stalls and dress seemed full (when the seating plan wasn't) so they must upgrade to ensure the front is full for Audra to play to. This really is unmissable.
We went Tuesday evening and while some back stalls were free, the upper levels were pretty full (to the very back at the top). We had box seats for £19.50 which seemed good value and the staging means most action is easily viewed from that position.
Oh! That does change things, somewhat. I was in a box too, for probably my first and last time. I don't think I'd want to sit in one for a conventional play, as it would be too one-sided, but for a cabaret-style performance like Lady Day it was ideal.
If push comes to shove, you can always move during the interval!!!
Interested in theatres as much as theatre, and business as much as show!