Lady in Denmark


Lady in Denmark
By Dael Orlandersmith

Directed by Chay Yew
May 10 - June 18, 2017 in the Owen

Dael Orlandersmith, “one of the country’s top talents for solo performance” (Time Out Chicago), presents a soulful tribute to legendary torch singer Billie Holiday and her music’s power to heal and inspire. Back when smoke curled thickly in night clubs and crowds never left the dance floor, jazz great Billie Holiday could scorch audiences with her singular, insinuating voice. In this one-woman show, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandermsith delivers a stirring ode to “Lady Day” through the musings of Helene, a Danish American woman who in the wake of her husband’s death finds solace in Holiday’s hauntingly beautiful music. Infused with Holiday’s iconic songs, Lady in Denmark presents a passionate meditation on life, marriage and mortality, assuring audiences that even in the most troubled times, music can make life worth living.

Lady in Denmark

  • Lady in Denmark, Playwright
    Lady in Denmark, Playwright

    DAEL ORLANDERSMITH previously collaborated with the Goodman onBlack n Blue Boys/Broken Men during the 2012/2013 Season and Stoop Stories during the 2009/2010 Season. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Her play Forever, commissioned by the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, was performed at the Mark Taper Forum in fall 2014. The show was then performed at the Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and Portland Center Stage in 2015. Her play Until the Fall will play the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in fall 2016. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Bones was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum, where it premiered in 2010. Orlandersmith premiered The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with the Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002.The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmickin 1999. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. She has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim award and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter.

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  • Lady in Denmark, Director
    Lady in Denmark, Director

    CHAY YEW  previously collaborated with the Goodman on Black n Blue Boys/Broken MenDartmoor Prison and the New Stages reading of Lady in Denmark. He is the artistic director of Victory Gardens Theater. Other Chicago credits include Po Boy Tango at Northlight Theatre; Where Did We Sit On The Bus? at Teatro Vista and Oedipus el ReyDeath and the MaidenAn Issue of Blood, The Gospel of LovingkindnessMojadaand Universes’ Ameriville at Victory Gardens Theater. In New York, he has directed at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, New York Theatre Workshop, National Asian American Theatre Company and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regionally, he has directed at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Empty Space Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Boston Court and East West Players. His opera credits include world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam’s Rage of d’Amours (Tanglewood Music Center). For his direction, he has been awarded an Obie Award and Drama Logue Award. Yew recently edited Version 3.0: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Plays for TCG Publications. He is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' Cultural Advisory Council. ​

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