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Centerstage channels Billie Holiday for a fundraiser

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on March 2, 2011 at 6:34 am |
February 27, 2011 10:37 pm
Stacie Calkins sings Billie Holiday at Centerstage Theatre. Photo: Jason Ganwich.

Vocalist Stacie Calkins, backed by a five-piece band, will perform the one-woman show “Lady Day and the Blues: The Billie Holiday Songbook” this Saturday night as a fundraiser for Centerstage Theater in Federal Way.

Like the recently successful Centerstage Frank Sinatra tribute show “My Way,” “Lady Day” celebrates the famous 1940s jazz singer via a collage of her most famous songs, including “Lover Man (Where Can You Be?)”, “I Cover the Waterfront,” “Them There Eyes,” “I Cried for You” and “God Bless the Child.” It also includes the controversial classic “Strange Fruit,” written by a New York Jewish poet that was originally refused by Holiday’s record label, as it described the aftermath of a lynching.

Calkins has appeared in numerous local musical theater roles, and is hailed by TNT critic Alec Clayton as “inhabit(ing) the stage the way Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith inhabited nightclubs in their heydays.” The fundraiser benefits Centerstage Theater, which offers regular shows at the Knutzen Family Theatre.

“Lady Day and the Blues” plays at 8 p.m. March 5 at the Knutzen Family Theatre, Dumas Bay Center, 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way. $15 suggested donation. 253-661-1444, www.centerstagetheatre.com

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