Tag Archives: Lanie Robertson

Woman Before a Glass – 4 Stars


Woman Before a Glass

Jermyn Street Theatre

Reviewed – 19th January 2018


“beautifully delivered as a one woman tour de force by a brilliant Judy Rosenblatt”


Jermyn Street Theatre is a tiny but perfect venue that I must have wandered past for years before I knew it existed. Once I did, I was always intrigued by the descending stairs that disappeared into a mysterious curve, leaving the studio tantalisingly out of view. I was excited at the thought of finally finding out what magic lay at the bottom of the steps!

The real life of Peggy (Marguerite) Guggenheim, art collector, daughter, sister, mother, lover, wife, ex-wife, drinker and survivor, is peeked at in this play by Lanie Robertson. Set in one room of her villa in her beloved adopted home of Venice (design by Erika Rodriguez), Peggy lays bare her love of life, men and art. She reminiscences in her lounge or talks on the phone, she speaks to a person offstage as a matter of fact or as a passing aside, giving an insight into the strong woman she is. She was however, in an era that found independent women difficult to deal with, both notorious and scandalous; yet she was content with that, enjoying it more often than not.

Peggy’s amazing history, her losses and loves, and her discovery of contemporary art emerge as we hear her recount snippets of her life. We drift in and out of her thoughts as she fights to keep the significant pieces of art she has lovingly amassed as a single collection – this is her  legacy for the future and it is her priority.

These pictures and sculptures are more ‘children’ to her than her flesh and blood, and as she battles for their future it becomes clear that many relationships in her life have taken second place to it, and there are consequences for that. Her stories are humourous, bittersweet, and sometimes tragic.

Directed by Austin Pendleton, this production of Woman Before a Glass is beautifully delivered as a one woman tour de force by a brilliant Judy Rosenblatt as Peggy. There is a great mix of audience acknowledgement, factual information, comic storytelling, sympathy, and understated sadness.


Reviewed by Joanna Hinson

Photography by Robert Workman


Woman Before a Glass

Jermyn Street Theatre until 3rd February



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Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – Production Images


1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime. Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.


Photography by Marc Brenner

Take a look at the brand new West End production photography of Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill which has not started preview performances at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre.

The Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winning singer and actress, will be making her long awaited West End debut portraying jazz legend Billie Holiday in a performance that won her a record-setting sixth Tony Award.

This critically acclaimed production broke box office records at the Circle in the Square in New York.

Written by Lanie Robertson and directed by Lonny Price, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill recounts Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous, including “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill won two Tony Awards in 2014 including ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play’ for Audra McDonald, making her Broadway’s most decorated performer, winner of six Tony Awards and the first and only person to receive awards in all four acting categories.

Billie ‘Lady Day’ Holiday had what is widely considered one of the greatest jazz voices of all-time. Born Eleanora Fagan in April 1915, she rose to popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her pioneering vocal style strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists. After a turbulent personal life and struggle with addiction, she died at the untimely age of 44. In 2000, Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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