written & directed by: Roz Nixon
Performed by: Madame Pat Tandy
lighting design: Arthur Adair

performance schedule:
October 10 - 20, 2002
The Club
Thursday - Saturday at 10:00 pm
Sunday 5:30 pm

"Billie," written and directed by Roz Nixon, with Madame Pat Tandy in the title role, takes a heart and soul swing tour through the musical life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, using 20 songs, lots of funny anecdotes, and the telling of legendary as well as obscurely known facts about this unique torch singer.

"Billie" is set on an elegant nightclub stage. As Ms. Tandy testifies through song and verse her great love and admiration for Lady Day, she riffs Jazz, touts the Blues, and shares her most inspired Billie Holiday experiences. "Billie" features song after song that highlights a pivotal turn in the life of Lady Day. Histories are revealed which help the audience understand the complexity of the first female recipient of the Esquire All American Jazz Award of 1943. Music includes twenty five songs, ten swingin' tunes, six ballads one medley. There are three male band members.

In 1997, playwright/director Roz Nixon made her her La MaMa debut during Black History Month with "Nothin' but the Blues," a four-character play that was a swing tour through that era with a fictional black woman singer named Big Mae Parker. Ms. Nixon is an African-American writer and native New Yorker. She has written a children's book, "Singin' Big Mae's Blues," and five plays, one of which was the story of Motown's Marvelettes. She is also an historian of early period female blues musicians. In the spring of 2000 Ms. Nixon's musical production, "Dedicated to Louis Armstrong," premiered in the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival and is, to date, the first and only theatrical performance ever presented in a major Jazz Festival. The show was subsequently featured in the New York Family Arts Festival, presented at Riverside Church in New York City. Nixon's productions also include "Great Women of Gospel, Blues and Jazz: A Month Long Festival" (2001), "Great Women of Music" at the B.B. King Club (2000), "Ashley Stewart presents Nine days of Gospel, Blues and Jazz" (1999) and "Too Much Blues Wednesdays" at Borders Books and Music (1999). She has coordinated corporate events as well as obtained corporate support and sponsorship for various musical series and productions.

Roz Nixon

2002 page