Best Actress in a Musical - 2003
Mary Louise Lee
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Mary Louise Lee's evocation of doomed, legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday was the kind of performance that stays with you for weeks. She shouted out her jokes and awarded them her own raucous laughter. She communicated raunchiness, pain and vulnerability. Her voice was smooth as glass, her phrasing sinuous as she brought the standards and a host of lesser-known songs to life. "God Bless the Child" was radiant and pure, and "Strange Fruit" chilled to the marrow.