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Pictured: Deidrie Henry as Lady Day in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Photo by Bill Brymer.
Pictured: Deidrie Henry as Lady Day in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Photo by Bill Brymer.

"Lady Day" Cast and Creative Team

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

By Lanie Robertson
Directed by Bill Fennelly


Deidrie HenryBillie Holiday
Abdul Hamid RoyalJimmy Powers
James H. LearyBass
Charles NealDrums


Abdul Hamid RoyalMusic Director
Michael SchweikardtScenic Designer
Raquel BarretoCostume Designer
David BudriesSound Designer
Janine VanderhoffStage Manager
Jordan AffeldtProduction Assistant

Lighting design by Isabella Byrd based on the original lighting design by Paul Toben.

The Actors and Stage Manager in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Deidrie Henry
Billie Holiday
Los Angeles theater: A Raisin in the Sun and Parade at Center Theatre Group; Coming Home and Yellowman (Best Actress Awards from the NAACP, Ovation Award, Backstage Garland Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award) at The Fountain Theatre; Small Tragedy at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. Regional theater: It Can't Happen Here and Yellowman at Berkeley Repertory Theatre; A Streetcar Named Desire and Closer at The Armory; American Night: The Ballad of Juan José at Yale Repertory Theater; Ballad of Emmett Till at Goodman Theatre; Oregon Shakespeare Festival for four seasons, appearing as Rosalind in As You Like It, Irina in Three Sisters, Susie in Wit, Ophelia in Hamlet, Vera Dotson in Seven Guitars, among others; Blues for an Alabama Sky (Helen Hays Award nomination) at the Alliance Theatre, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage and Huntington Theatre Company. Other awards: Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist and Cabaret Debut for her cabaret, What a Day for a Daydream (New York). Television: Game of SilenceThe RichesCriminal MindsJustifiedGlee and CSI. Film: Beyond the Lights and Beautiful Boy

Abdul Hamid Royal
Music Director/Jimmy Powers 
The Ovation Award; The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award; and The SAGE Award for Best Music Direction on The Gospel at Colonus. NAACP Image Award for 5 Guys Named Moe. NAACP Image Award and StageSceneLA Award for Outstanding Musical Direction on the Los Angeles production of Recorded in Hollywood. Music Director (Broadway/International/National): 5 Guys Named Moe, Twist, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Jelly’s Last Jam, The Wiz, Truly Blessed, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Betsey Brown, Concerts for the Earth, Colors of Christmas, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Life. Composer/Arranger: 5 Guys Named Moe, Truly Blessed, Body and Soul, Twist, Cole Porter Festival, Colors of Christmas. Recording Artists: Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, Cy Coleman, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Liza Minelli, Ashford & Simpson, Martha Wash, Jennifer Holliday, Jeffrey Osborne, Maurice Hines, Melba Moore, Patti Austin, Grover Washington Jr., Masashi Sada, Patti LaBelle, Christina Aguilera, Jason Mraz, Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Doc Powell, The LA Philharmonic, Ty Herndon, Freddie Waites, Brenda Russell and Phil Collins.  

James H. Leary 

James H. Leary is a double bass player and arranger/composer, who played with The Count Basie Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Earl Hines, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Harris, Max Roach, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Johnny Hartman, Major Lance, Johnny Taylor, Esther Phillips, Rosemary Clooney, Don Shirley, Oakland Symphony, Pharoah Sanders, Red Garland, Jaki Byard, Randy Weston, John Handy and Dizzy Gillespie with the San Francisco Pops Orchestra conducted by Arthur Fiedler. Broadway credits include: Eubie!,They're Playing Our Song, Ain't Misbehavin', Bubbling Brown Sugar, 5 Guys Named Moe and Timbuktu! starring Eartha Kitt. Leary was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and studied at The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He has won two Grammy Awards with The Count Basie Orchestra.

Charles Neal

Charles Neal is an accomplished musician who performs, composes, produces and engineers music. He has been intense and passionate about music since early childhood and graduated cum laude from Berklee College of Music. Living in Portland for almost two decades, he has worked with many musicians in the Northwest and continues to be an active musician and music advocate. Charles is constantly working on and producing numerous music projects, is passionate about producing, and loves working on both sides of the glass in the recording studio. Collaborating with diverse tastes allows him to continually broaden and perfect his true love of performing and composing music of all kinds. "I'm always on a quest to surround my life with music and live my passion for music. To me, music equals life." 

*Note: The bass player for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill originally announced to be Andre St. James is now James H. Leary.


Lanie Robertson 
Lanie Robertson writes about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced in Nasty Little Secrets, Alfred Stiegletz Loves O’Keeffe and Woman Before a Glass. His plays have been produced internationally and at the Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Delaware Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Festival d’Avignon, George Street Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Old Globe, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Theatre de la Huchette, Theatre Petite Montparnasse, Theatre Silvia Montforte, Vineyard Theatre, Virginia Stage, Walnut Street Theatre, Westside Arts and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Current plays include Nobody Lonesome for Me and The Gardener. Recently he completed his first novel, Monkey to the Solution. He’s a member of the Dramatists Guild; Writers Guild, East; and the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.

Bill Fennelly

Bill is thrilled to return to Portland Center Stage at The Armory for his fourth production; previous projects include: Gypsy, Black Pearl Sings and Little Shop of Horrors. His work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regionally. Recent projects include Hairspray at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Little Shop of Horrors at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Fly By Night (Dallas Column Award for Best Director of a Musical and Bay Area Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Direction); Herringbone (Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical) at Flash Point Theatre; Frankenstein: a new musical at 37 Arts (Off-Broadway); A Christmas Carol featuring F. Murray Abraham and Lynn Redgrave; original assistant director on the Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys, resident director of The Lion King, staff director with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center; and Phil Killian Directing Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additional projects at: Syracuse Stage, Dallas Theater Center, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Playwrights Horizons, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Musicals, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Ford’s Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Glimmerglass Festival, American Musical Theatre Project, National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and Walnut Street Theatre among others. He was the associate producing artistic director of The Acting Company and assistant artistic director at Cirque du Soleil. Bill earned a B.M. from the Hartt School, an M.F.A. in directing from University of California San Diego, and is an associate professor of theater at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Michael Schweikardt
Scenic Designer
For The Armory: Little Shop of Horrors. Select regional theater credits: TheaterWorks (Hartford, CT); Ford’s Theatre; The Old Globe; Cleveland Play House; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Asolo Repertory Theatre; The Muny; Paper Mill Playhouse; Pittsburgh Public Theater; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Maltz Jupiter Theatre; and multiple productions for Goodspeed Musicals, including Fiddler On The Roof, Carousel and Showboat. Select Off-Broadway: The Bus and the American premiere of Frank McGuinness’ Gates Of Gold (59E59 Theaters); Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); The Black Suits (The Public Theater); Things to Ruin (Second Stage Theatre, The Zipper Factory); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Theatreworks USA at the Lucille Lortel). Select tours: James Taylor’s One Man Band; Ella. Michael recently designed productions of Marie Antoinette The Musical and Phantom for EMK International in Seoul, South Korea. msportfolio.com

Raquel Barreto
Costume Designer

Raquel is a Los Angeles-based costume designer working in theater, dance and opera. Some recent credits include Native Gardens (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), Water by the Spoonful (Mark Taper Forum), Watch on the Rhine (Guthrie Theater/Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Mansfield Park (Opera UCLA), The Glass Menagerie (CalShakes), and Julius Caesar (Oregon Shakespeare Festival.) She has designed multiple productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and California Shakespeare Theater, and regionally at Actors Theater of Louisville, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Folger Theatre, Syracuse Stage, The Magic Theatre, Cornerstone Theater, Latino Theater Co, the Getty Villa, the LA Phil, Kirk Douglas Theater, and many others. Raquel is a native of Brazil, and she holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.F.A. from UC San Diego. She teaches costume design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and TV. raquelbarreto.com

Isabella Byrd
Associate Lighting Designer

Recent: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire at New York Theatre Workshop; Do You Feel Anger?, God Said This, You Across From Me (Humana Festival 2018) and Angels in America (co-design) all at Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey at City Theatre (Pittsburgh); The Old Man and The Old Moon by PigPen Theatre Co. at The Old Globe (Associate); The Pirates of Penzance at Amarillo Opera; Everybody at Juilliard School of Drama; and Sundown, Yellow Moon at Ars Nova and WP Theater. Associate designs for Hundred Days and Othello at New York Theatre Workshop; The Hairy Ape at Park Avenue Armory; The Antipodes at Signature Theatre; A Life at Playwrights Horizons; and The Flick at Playwrights Horizons (world premiere), Barrow Street Theatre and National Theatre, London. Additional company affiliations include: Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival USA and Williamstown Theatre Festival. isabellabyrd.design

Paul Toben
Original Lighting Designer

Regional credits include: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Angels in America Parts 1 and 2, Peter and the Starcatcher, 4000 Miles, and many others at Actors Theatre of Louisville; designs for five seasons of the Humana Festival including Evocation to Visible Appearance, Airness, The Grown-Up and The Roommate; Electra (Court Theatre); The Firebirds Take the Field (Rivendell); NSFW (Roundhouse); Silent Sky, Triangle, Upright Grand (TheatreWorks); Fly by Night, Medea, School for Wives (Dallas Theater Center); The Who and The What (Kansas City Rep); Daddy Long Legs (New York, regional and international premiers); Another Way Home (The Magic Theatre); Caravan Man, Demon Dreams (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Broadway: The Story of my Life. Off-Broadway: The Judy Show (DR2), Saturn Nights (Incubator Arts Project), Electra in a One Piece and The Realm (The Wild Project), The Redheaded Man (Fringe Encores), and many more. paultoben.com

David Budries
Sound Designer
This is Budries’ first design for Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Broadway/Off-Broadway: Ah, Wilderness, A Long Day's Journey Into Night, Our County's Good, Souvenir, Other People's Money, Measure for Measure, And A Nightingale Sang, From the Mississippi Delta, Search and Destroy, End of the Day, Playland and Marisol. Regional credits include: Hartford Stage Company, Baltimore Center Stage, The Dallas Theatre Center, Ford’s Theatre (associate artist), Houston’s Alley Theatre; The Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory, McCarter Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Stage Company, Arena Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre. International: Salzburg Marionettentheater, Prague Quadrennial 2007 and 2011. He has earned Chicago’s Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration, three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, three Los Angeles Dramalogue Awards, and two nominations for the Leo Rabin Award (Dallas). Mr. Budries chairs the Sound Design Program at the Yale School of Drama and is an independent music and radio producer.

Janine Vanderhoff
Stage Manager
Janine is glad to be back for her third season at The Armory. Previous credits at The Armory include: Kodachrome, A Christmas Memory/Winter Song, Wild and Reckless, Lauren Weedman Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The Santaland Diaries, The Oregon Trail, Little Shop of Horrors, JAW, Great Expectations, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Our Town. Other Portland credits include Portland Opera’s Sweeney Todd (followspot caller); DC Copeland's Play (stage manager/production manager); Portland Playhouse's How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes and The Other Place (stage manager). Touring stage management credits include: The Graduate (starring Morgan Fairchild), Cats, The Vagina Monologues, Jekyll & Hyde and Show Boat. While in New York, Janine had the opportunity to work on The Lion King on Broadway, as well as with many Off-Broadway and regional companies. Production management credits include: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for “Democalypse 2012 Republican National Convention” (Tampa, FL); Straz Center (Tampa, FL); The Fox Theatre (Atlanta, GA). Proud NYU graduate and AEA member.

Jordan Affeldt
Production Asssistant
Jordan is a stage manager from the small mountain town of Julian, CA. This is her first season at The Armory as a stage management apprentice, where credits include Fun Home, A Christmas Memory/Winter Song, Kodachrome, Major Barbara and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Prior to coming to The Armory, she completed internships at Pacific Conservatory Theatre (assistant stage manager for Beauty and the Beast, Lend Me a Tenor, You Can’t Take it With You), Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (assistant stage manager for Coriolanus), and ion theatre company (production assistant for Sea of Souls). She received her undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University, majoring in theater studies and psychology. She spends her free time playing and writing music in the Portland area.


Pepi the Chihuahua
Audrey is a Deer Chihuahua living in Portland, Oregon with her human, the actor Sharonlee McLean. Eleven years young, Audrey’s health and behavior is that of a four year old. She loves to be held, and she will actually hug you when she gets to know you better. Inspired by her namesake, Audrey Hepburn, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is her very first stage appearance. Audrey hopes you enjoy her work.  

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