Audra McDonald

Audra Ann McDonald[1] (born July 3, 1970)[2] is a German-born American actress and singer. Primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage, she has won six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win all four acting categories.[note 1] She has performed in musicals, operas, and dramas such as A Moon for the Misbegotten, 110 in the Shade, Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class and Porgy and Bess. As a classical soprano, she has performed in staged operas with the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and in concerts with symphony orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. In 2008 her recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Los Angeles Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. She has a close working relationship with composer Michael John LaChiusa who has written several works for her, including the Broadway musical Marie Christine, the opera Send (who are you? i love you), and The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle. With her full lyric soprano voice,[3] she maintains an active concert and recording career throughout the United States performing a wide repertoire from classical to musical theater to jazz and popular songs. In 2016, McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In 2017 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[4]

On television, McDonald portrayed Dr. Naomi Bennett as a main cast member of Shonda Rhimes's ABC television drama Private Practice from 2007-2011. She also portrayed the recurring character of Liz Lawrence in Season 4 of The Good Wife; a role that she reprises as a main cast member in the spinoff series The Good Fight. In 2013 she performed the role of Mother Superior in The Sound of Music Live! opposite Carrie Underwood as Maria. She has twice been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayals of Susie Monahan in Wit opposite Emma Thompson in 2001 and for her performance of Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun in 2008. In 2016 she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill for HBO in which McDonald portrayed jazz legend Billie Holiday. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program in 2015 for her work hosting the program Live from Lincoln Center. On film she is best known for her portrayals of Maureen in Ricki and the Flash (2015) opposite Meryl Streep and Madame de Garderobe in the 2017 film version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She has been nominated five times for the NAACP Image Awards for her work in television and film.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald (1)
Audra McDonald, 2008
Born
Audra Ann McDonald

July 3, 1970 (age 48)
West Berlin, Germany
Alma materJuilliard School (BM, 1993)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)
Children2

Early life and education

McDonald was born in West Berlin, Germany, the daughter of American parents, Anna Kathryn, a university administrator, and Stanley McDonald Jr., a high school principal.[1] At the time of her birth, her father was stationed with the United States Army. McDonald was raised in Fresno, California, the elder of two daughters. McDonald graduated from the Roosevelt School of the Arts program within Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno.[5] She got her start in acting with Dan Pessano and Good Company Players, beginning in their junior company. "I knew I wanted to be involved in theater when I had my first chance to perform with the Good Company Players Junior Company." "The people who have had the most impact on my life: Good Company director Dan Pessano and my mother."[6] She studied classical voice as an undergraduate under Ellen Faull at the Juilliard School,[7] graduating in 1993.[8]

Career

Theatre

Audra Mcdonald 1998
McDonald in 1998

McDonald was a three-time Tony Award winner by age 28 for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She was nominated for another Tony Award for her performance in Marie Christine before she won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, placing her in the company of then four-time winning actress Angela Lansbury. She reprised her Raisin role for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway's The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, thus tying Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.[9] Her 2014 performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill earned McDonald her sixth Tony award and made her the first person to win all four acting categories.

McDonald appeared as Lizzie in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade, directed by Lonny Price at Studio 54, for which she shared the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical with Donna Murphy.[10] On April 29, 2007, while she was in previews for the show, her father was killed when an experimental aircraft he was flying crashed north of Sacramento, California.[11]

McDonald is known for defying racial typecasting in her various Tony Award-winning and -nominated roles. Her performances as Carrie Pipperidge in Nicholas Hytner's 1996 revival of Carousel and Lizzie Curry in Lonny Price's 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade made her the first black woman to portray those (traditionally white) roles in a major Broadway production. Of her groundbreaking work in encouraging diversity in musical theatre casting, she said in an interview for The New York Times, "I refuse to be stereotyped. If I think I am right for a role I will go for it in whatever way I can. I refuse to say no to myself. I can't control what a producer will do or say but I can at least put myself out there."[12] In a Talk of the Nation interview on NPR, Asian-American actor Thom Sesma said McDonald's performance in Carousel "transcended any kind of type at all", proving her to be "more actress than African-American."[13]

McDonald is also no stranger to the opera stage. In 2006 she made her opera debut at the Houston Grand Opera performing Francis Poulenc's La Voix humaine and the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's one-woman opera Send (who are you? I love you).[14] She had previously performed in the world premiere of John Adams' I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky which was given in concert, and can be heard on the 1997 recording of the opera. In 2007 she performed the role of Jenny Smith in Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Los Angeles Opera.[15] Her performance was recorded and won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 2009. She appeared in a revised version of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, at the American Repertory Theatre (in Cambridge, Massachusetts) from August through September 2011, and recreated the role on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, which opened on January 12, 2012 and closed on September 23, 2012.[16] For this role, McDonald won her fifth Tony Award and her first in a Leading Actress category.[17] This American Repertory Theater production was "re-imagined by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre Murray as a musical for contemporary audiences."[18]

In 2014, she was featured in Lynn Nottage's short play Poof!, alongside Tonya Pinkins. It was produced for radio and podcast by Playing On Air.[19]

She appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in Eugene O'Neill's play A Moon for the Misbegotten in August 2015, co-starring with her husband Will Swenson.[20]

In 2016, McDonald starred on Broadway as the vaudeville performer Lottie Gee in a new musical titled Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed about the making of the 1921 musical Shuffle Along.[21] McDonald left the show on July 24, 2016 to begin maternity leave. Shuffle Along closed on July 24, 2016.[22][23]

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

McDonald played Billie Holiday on Broadway in the play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill in a limited engagement that ended on August 10, 2014.[24] After previews that began on March 25, 2014, the play opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 13, 2014.[24] Of the play, McDonald said in an interview:

It's about a woman trying to get through a concert performance, which I know something about, and she's doing it at a time when her liver was pickled and she was still doing heroin regularly...I might have been a little judgmental about Billie Holiday early on in my life, but what I've come to admire most about her – and what is fascinating in this show – is that there is never any self-pity. She's almost laughing at how horrible her life has been. I don't think she sees herself as a victim. And she feels an incredible connection to her music – she can't sing a song if she doesn't have some emotional connection to it, which I really understand.[24]

McDonald won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for this role, making her the first person to earn six Tony Award wins for acting (not counting honorary awards) and the first person to win a Tony Award in all four acting categories.[25] In her acceptance speech, "she thanked her parents for encouraging her to pursue her interests as a child."[26] She also thanked the "strong and brave and courageous" African-American women who came before her, saying in part, "I am standing on Lena Horne's shoulders. I am standing on Maya Angelou's shoulders. I am standing on Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee, and most of all, Billie Holiday. You deserved so much more than you were given when you were on this planet. This is for you, Billie." [27] This performance was filmed at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans and broadcast on HBO on March 12, 2016.[28] McDonald received a 2016 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in the broadcast.[29]

McDonald had planned to make her West End debut as Holiday in Lady Day in June through September 2016,[30] but after becoming pregnant she postponed these plans.[31] She performed in Lady Day in June 2017 through September 9, 2017, at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End.[32]

Recordings and concerts

Audra McDonald 2011
McDonald performing at the Wright Center in 2011

McDonald has maintained ties to her classical training and repertoire. She frequently performs in concert throughout the U.S.[33] and has performed with musical organizations such as the New York Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Carnegie Hall commissioned the song cycle The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle for McDonald, and she performed it at Carnegie's Zankel Hall on June 2, 2004.[34] She sang two solo one-act operas at the Houston Grand Opera in March 2006: Francis Poulenc's La voix humaine and the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Send (who are you? I love you).[35] On February 10, 2007, McDonald starred with Patti LuPone in the Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny directed by John Doyle.[36] The recording of this production of Mahagonny won two Grammy Awards, for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album in February 2009.[37]

In September 2008, American composer Michael John LaChiusa was quoted in Opera News Online, as working on an adaptation of Bizet's Carmen with McDonald in mind.[38]

McDonald has recorded five solo albums for Nonesuch Records. Her first, the 1998 Way Back to Paradise, featured songs written by a new generation of musical theatre composers who had achieved varying degrees of prominence in the 1990s, particularly LaChiusa, Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown.

Her next album, How Glory Goes (2000), combined both old and new works, and included composers Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Kern.[7] Her third album, Happy Songs (2002), was big band music from the 1920s through the 1940s.[39] Her fourth album, Build a Bridge (2006), features songs from jazz and pop.[40]

In May 2013, Audra McDonald released her first solo album in seven years, Go Back Home, with a title track from the Kander & Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys. To coincide with the album's release, McDonald performed a concert at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City that aired on the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center titled Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home.[41]

At the 2010 BCS National Championship Game on January 7, McDonald sang America the Beautiful for the sold-out stadium fans to celebrate the final game of the college football season.[42]

In May 2000, Audra McDonald appeared as "The Beggar Woman" in Lonny Price's concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, performed at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, with the New York Philharmonic with George Hearn and Patti LuPone. She reprised the role in some performances of the March 2014 Lincoln Center concert production, again directed by Price, this time opposite Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. She performed three concerts, titled "Audra McDonald Sings Broadway", in the Sydney Opera House in November 2015, which also included "The Facebook Song" by Kate Miller-Heidke.[43]

Television and film

McDonald has also made many television appearances, both musical and dramatic. In 2001, she received her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for the HBO film Wit, starring Emma Thompson and directed by Mike Nichols.[44] She also has appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street (1999), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2000), Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999), the short-lived Mister Sterling (2003), The Bedford Diaries (2006), and Kidnapped (2006–2007), and in the 1999 television remake of Annie as Daddy Warbucks' secretary & soon-to-be wife, Miss Farrell.[45] She sang with the New York Philharmonic in the annual New Year's Eve gala concert on December 31, 2006, featuring music from the movies; it was televised on Live from Lincoln Center by PBS.[46] In 2013, she appeared in the HBO documentary Six by Sondheim.[47]

McDonald appeared as Naomi Bennett in Private Practice, a spinoff of Grey's Anatomy. She replaced Merrin Dungey, who played the role in the series pilot.[48] McDonald left Private Practice at the end of season four, but returned for the series finale at the end of season six to bring closure to Naomi's storyline.[49][50]

In films, McDonald has appeared in Beauty and the Beast (2017), Ricki and the Flash (2015), Best Thief in the World (2004), It Runs in the Family (2003), Cradle Will Rock (1999), The Object of My Affection (1998), and Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof which was her film acting debut in (1996).[45]

McDonald played Mother Abbess in the 2013 NBC live television production of The Sound of Music Live!.[51][52]

Since 2012, McDonald has served as host for the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center, for which she shared an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program with the show's producers. On August 1, 2017, it was announced that she had been added to the main cast for the second season of The Good Fight, reprising her role as Liz Lawrence from The Good Wife season 4.[53]

Personal life

McDonald married bassist Peter Donovan in September 2000.[7] They have one daughter, Zoe Madeline Donovan, named after McDonald's close friend and Master Class co-star Zoe Caldwell. McDonald and Donovan divorced in 2009.[54] She married Will Swenson on October 6, 2012.[55] On October 19, 2016, they became parents to a girl, Sally James McDonald-Swenson.[56][57]

McDonald attended Joan Rivers' funeral in New York on September 7, 2014, where she sang "Smile".

McDonald lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.[58]

Discography

Solo recordings[59]

Featured recordings[62]

Cast recordings

Video recordings

Audio books

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role
1996 Seven Servants Opera Singer
1998 The Object of My Affection Wedding Singer
1999 Cradle Will Rock Blitzstein – "Joe Worker" Singer
1999 Annie Grace
2003 It Runs in the Family Sarah Langley
2004 The Best Thief in the World Ruth
2011 Rampart Sarah
2015 Ricki and the Flash Maureen
2017 Beauty and the Beast Madame de Garderobe
2017 Hello Again Sally (The Actress)

Television

Year Title[45] Role Notes
1999 Annie Miss Grace Farrell TV movie
Homicide: Life on the Street Teresa Giardello Episode: "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years Bessie in her 20s TV movie
2000 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Audrey Jackson 2 episodes
The Last Debate Barbara Manning TV movie
2001 Wit Susie Monahan Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2003 Mister Sterling Jackie Brock 9 episodes
Partners and Crime Unknown TV movie
Tea Time with Roy & Sylvia Sylvia Short
2005 Passion: Live From Lincoln Center Clara TV special
2006 The Bedford Diaries Professor Carla Bonatelle 8 episodes
2006–07 Kidnapped Jackie Hayes 3 episodes
2007–13 Private Practice Dr. Naomi Bennett 77 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2008–2010)
2009 Grey's Anatomy Episode: "Before and After"
2007 Great Performances Jenny Smith Episode: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
2008 A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger TV movie
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2009 She Got Problems Herself Short
2012–13 Sesame Street Chicken 3 episodes
2013 The Good Wife Liz Lawrence Episode: "Runnin' with the Devil"
The Sound of Music Live! Mother Abbess Live telecast
Audra McDonald: Go Back Home Self Concert special
It Could Be Worse Sharon Episode: "Starring Veronica Bailey"
The Ordained Anthea TV movie
2014 Submissions Only Tracy 1 episode
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Live from Lincoln Center Lucy, the Beggar Woman Filmed stage production
2016 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Billie Holiday Filmed stage production
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
2018 The Good Fight Liz Lawrence Main cast
RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (guest judge) 1 episode (season 10)[71]

Theatre

Year Show[72] Role Notes
1992 The Secret Garden Ayah (replacement) St. James Theatre
1992 – January 3, 1993
1994 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Vivian Beaumont Theater
February 18, 1994 – January 15, 1995
1995 Master Class Sharon Graham Philadelphia Theatre Company
March 1995
Something Wonderful Performer Gershwin Theatre
July 12, 1995
Master Class Sharon Graham John Golden Theatre
October 26, 1995 – June 29, 1997
1997 Ragtime Sarah Ford Center for the Performing Arts
December 26, 1997 – October 29, 1999
January 10–16, 2000
1999 Marie Christine Marie Christine L'Adrese Vivian Beaumont Theater
October 30, 1999 – January 9, 2000
2000 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Lucy, The Beggar Woman Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
May 4–6, 2000
2001 Dreamgirls Deena Jones New York Actor's Fund Benefit Concert
2003 Passion Clara Ravinia Festival
August 22–23, 2003
Henry IV Lady Percy Vivian Beaumont Theater
October 28, 2003 – January 18, 2004
2004 A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger Royale Theatre
March 30 – July 11, 2004
The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle Performer Carnegie Hall
June 2, 2004
2005 Passion Clara Lincoln Center
March 30 – April 1, 2005
Wonderful Town Eileen Berlin Philharmonic
2006 La voix humaine/Send (who are you? I love you) Singer Houston Grand Opera, March
2007 Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny Jenny Los Angeles Opera
February 2007
110 in the Shade Lizzie Curry Studio 54
April 13 – July 29, 2007
2009 Twelfth Night Olivia Delacorte Theater
June 25, 2009 – July 12, 2009
2011 Porgy and Bess Bess American Repertory Theater
August/September, 2011
Richard Rodgers Theatre
December 17, 2011 – September 23, 2012
2014 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Lucy, The Beggar Woman Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
March 5–8, 2014
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Billie Holiday Circle in the Square Theatre
March 25, 2014 – October 5, 2014
2015 A Moon for the Misbegotten Josie Williamstown Theatre Festival
August 2015
2016 Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed Lottie Gee Music Box Theatre
March 14 – July 24, 2016
2017 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Billie Holiday Wyndham's Theatre
June 27, 2017 – September 9, 2017[73][74]

Concerts

Audra McDonald in Concert Tour

23 concerts total; the gap between May and October 2013 is due to McDonald's work with television and her album coming out, causing the three and a half month gap. The tour ended due to McDonald's show, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill opening on Broadway, but she picked up again with a new tour once the show closed.

An Evening with Audra McDonald Tour

37 concerts; this tour marked her Australian debut. The lack of August shows was due to her run in A Moon for the Misbegotten.

  • November 17, 2018 — Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI

Other concerts

Audra McDonald performs in the East Room of the White House, 2013
McDonald in the East Room of the White House, 2013

Awards and nominations

On September 22, 2016, Audra McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama for 2015. The Award states, in part: "for lighting up Broadway as one of its brightest stars.... In musicals, concerts, operas, and the recording studio, her rich, soulful voice continues to take her audiences to new heights."[75]

Stage

Year Award[76][77] Category Nominated work Result
1994 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Carousel Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Theatre World Award Honoree
1996 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Master Class Won
Ovation Award Best Featured Actress in a Play Won
1998 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Ragtime Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
2000 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Marie Christine Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2004 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play A Raisin in the Sun Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Won
Broadway.com Audience Award Favorite Featured Actress in a Play Won
2005 KissFM Phenomenal Woman Award Phenomenal Woman[78] Won
2007 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical 110 in the Shade Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Broadway.com Audience Award Favorite Actress in a Musical Nominated
2008 Grammy Award Best Classical Album Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny Won
Best Opera Recording Won
2012 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Porgy and Bess Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Broadway.com Audience Awards Favorite Actress in a Musical Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (with Norm Lewis) Nominated
2013 Grammy Award Best Musical Theatre Album Nominated
Sarah Siddons Society Award Distinguished Achievement in the Theatre Won
2014 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Broadway.com Audience Award Favorite Actress in a Play Won
Favorite Diva Performance Nominated
2016 Broadway.com Audience Award Favorite Diva Performance Shuffle Along, or [...] Nominated
2018 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Nominated

TV

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Variety – Series or Special Audra McDonald in Concert Nominated
Emmy Award Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Wit Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Supporting Actress in a TV film Nominated
2008 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Supporting Actress in a TV Film A Raisin in the Sun Won
Emmy Award Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
NAACP Image Award Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Private Practice Nominated
2009 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2010 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Emmy Award Outstanding Special Class Program Carousel (Live from Lincoln Center) Nominated
Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actress in a Movie The Sound of Music Live! Nominated
2015 Emmy Award Outstanding Special Class Program Sweeney Todd (Live from Lincoln Center) Won
2016 Emmy Award Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series Nominated

Film

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2017 NAACP Image Award NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Beauty and the Beast Nominated

Notes

  1. ^ Best Actress in a Play, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Play, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical. "Tony Awards Facts & Trivia". Retrieved 9 June 2014.

References

  1. ^ a b "Audra McDonald Biography (1970–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  2. ^ "Audra McDonald Biography: Theater Actress, Singer, Television Actress (1970–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "Audra McDonald Back on Broadway". www.vulture.com. Retrieved 2017-01-07.
  4. ^ "Audra McDonald, Matthew Broderick, Marin Mazzie among 2017 Theater Hall of Fame inductees". www.playbill.com. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Audra – Living Her Dream". The Fresno Bee. January 15, 1989. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  6. ^ "Audra McDonald's a tough act to follow in Evita". The Fresno Bee. December 5, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  7. ^ a b c Green, Blake. "Never Short of Breath", sfgate.com (originally in the San Francisco Chronicle), July 16, 2000
  8. ^ "Alumni News: November 2011". Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Audra McDonald (BM '93, voice)
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Chenoweth, Dench, Linney, McDonald, Rashad Nominated for Emmy Awards", Playbill, July 17, 2008, retrieved February 5, 2017
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Utopia and Spring Awakening Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards", Playbill, May 21, 2007, retrieved February 5, 2017
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Stanley McDonald Jr., Father of Tony-Winner Audra McDonald, Dies in Air Crash", Playbill, April 30, 2007, retrieved February 5, 2017
  12. ^ "Audra McDonald". The New York Times. 2007-06-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  13. ^ "Casting Beyond Color Lines". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  14. ^ Ben Nattison (March 4, 2006). "Audra McDonald Premieres LaChiusa's Send at Houston Grand Opera". Playbill.
  15. ^ Lee Spindle (February 12, 2007). "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny". Theater Mania.
  16. ^ "Porgy and Bess Broadway", Playbill, (Vault), retrieved February 5, 2017
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam. 2012 "Tony Awards Nominations Announced; Once Earns 11 Nominations" Archived May 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.com, May 1, 2012
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew and Hetrick, Adam. "Norm Lewis-Audra McDonald Porgy and Bess Will Play Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre" Archived July 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, June 29, 2011
  19. ^ PlayingOnAir (2015-08-10). "New Podcast! POOF! by Lynn Nottage". Archived from the original on 2017-08-18. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  20. ^ "Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Star in Moon for the Misbegotten at Williamstown, Starting Tonight", Playbill, August 5, 2015
  21. ^ "Six-Time Tony Winner Audra McDonald Will Lead Shuffle Along Musical on Broadway", broadway.com, retrieved June 7, 2015
  22. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Viagas, Robert. "Shuffle Along Sets July Broadway Closing", Playbill, June 23, 2016
  23. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Shuffle Along Plays Final Broadway Performance Today", Playbill, July 24, 2016
  24. ^ a b c "Audra McDonald to Return to Broadway as Billie Holiday". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  25. ^ "Audra Mcdonald Nets a Record Sixth Win" npr.org, June 9, 2014
  26. ^ Purcell, Carey. "Gent's Guide, All The Way, Hedwig And the Angry Inch, Raisin in the Sun Win Top Prizes at 68th Annual Tony Awards" Archived June 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, June 8, 2014
  27. ^ "Audra McDonald Wins 6th Tony Award Makes Broadway History" essence.com, June 8, 2014
  28. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Debuts on HBO Tonight", Playbill, March 12, 2016
  29. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Audra McDonald, Viola Davis, Bryan Cranston Among 2016 Emmy Nominees", Playbill, July 14, 2016
  30. ^ Porteous, Jacob (January 15, 2016). "Record Six-Time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald to Make West End Debut in Lady Day At Emerson's Bar And Grill". London Theatre Direct. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  31. ^ Warner, Kara. "Baby on the Way for Will Swenson and Audra McDonald", People Magazine, May 10, 2016
  32. ^ Shenton, Mark. "Audra McDonald To Reprise Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill in the West End", Playbill, February 3, 2017
  33. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald to Offer Concerts Throughout U.S.", playbill.com, April 8, 2008
  34. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald Premieres The Seven Deadly Sins June 2 at Zankel Hall", Playbill, June 2, 2004
  35. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald to Debut New LaChiusa Piece at Houston Grand Opera", Playbill, July 26, 2005
  36. ^ Simonson, Robert and Gans, Andrew. "Doyle to Direct LuPone and McDonald in Mahagonny", Playbill, January 16, 2006
  37. ^ Gans, Andrew. "In the Heights Cast Recording Wins Grammy; Hudson and LuPone-McDonald Mahagonny Also Win", Playbill, February 8, 2009
  38. ^ Portantiere, Michael (September 2008). "Over the Borderline". Opera News Online. 73 (3). Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  39. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Audra McDonald Sings Composers of Today and Future at Joe's Pub", Playbill, May 22, 2002
  40. ^ Suskin, Steven. "On The Record: A Complete Cabaret With Judi Dench, and Audra McDonald's "Build a Bridge", Playbill, November 12, 2006
  41. ^ Hetrick, Adam (April 9, 2013). "Audra McDonald's New Album, "Go Back Home" Sets May Release; PBS Concert Will Follow". Playbill.
  42. ^ Moon, Josh. "Alabama wins 13th national championship" Archived January 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine montgomeryadvertiser.com, January 8, 2010
  43. ^ "Audra McDonald review: reviving the fading art of singing" by John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 November 2015
  44. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Emmy Noms Go to 'Wit,' 'South Pacific,' 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' and More", July 12, 2001
  45. ^ a b c Audra McDonald on IMDb
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  47. ^ "Six By Sondheim Doc, With Performances by Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Debuts on HBO Dec. 9". Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
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  52. ^ 'Sound of Music Live!' with Carrie Underwood: NBC announces more cast, releases poster Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved September 16, 2013
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  67. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gans, Andrew. "Complete Allegro Recording, with McDonald, Gunn and Wilson, to Arrive In Stores Feb. 3" Archived May 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, December 8, 2008
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  74. ^ Marshall, Charlotte. "Audra McDonald's 'Lady Day' Postponed" officiallondontheatre.co.uk, May 11, 2016
  75. ^ Dwyer, Colin. "At White House, A Golden Moment For America's Great Artists And Patrons" npr.org, September 22, 2016
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External links

68th Tony Awards

The 68th Annual Tony Awards were held June 8, 2014, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2013–14 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was televised live on CBS. Hugh Jackman was the host, his fourth time hosting. The 15 musical Tony Awards went to seven different musicals, and six plays shared the 11 play Tony Awards.The nominations were announced on April 29, 2014 by Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu. Audra McDonald won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. In just her ninth Broadway engagement, McDonald established two records as the first actor to win six Tony Awards for acting and the first to win in all four categories, lead and featured in both a play and a musical. In its seventh Broadway incarnation, The Glass Menagerie won its first Tony Award (Lighting Design).Aladdin's win made it the fourth franchise to complete EGOT status.

A Raisin in the Sun (2008 film)

A Raisin in the Sun is a 2008 American made-for-television film directed by Kenny Leon and starring Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad, and Sanaa Lathan reprising their roles from the 2004 revival which was also directed by Leon. The teleplay by Paris Qualles is based on the award-winning 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry and is the second film adaptation of that play following the 1961 film that starred Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, and Diana Sands.

A Raisin in the Sun debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast by ABC on February 25, 2008. According to Nielsen Media Research, the program was watched by 12.7 million viewers and ranked #9 in the ratings for the week ending March 2, 2008.

Annie (1999 film)

Annie is a 1999 American made-for-television musical-comedy-drama film from The Wonderful World of Disney, adapted from the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on the 1924 Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray. The musical was previously adapted into a 1982 theatrical film.

It was directed by Rob Marshall, written by Irene Mecchi, and produced by Walt Disney Television, Columbia TriStar Television, Storyline Entertainment, and Chris Montan Productions. Annie marks the first film collaboration between The Walt Disney Company and Columbia Pictures since Columbia distributed some of Disney's short animated Silly Symphony films from 1930 to 1932. It stars Kathy Bates, Alan Cumming, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Andrea McArdle (who originated the role of Annie in the musical), and introduces Alicia Morton as the titular character.

Annie premiered on ABC November 7, 1999. The program proved to be popular during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most watched Disney movie ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella (1997). This version earned two Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Annie (1999 film soundtrack)

Annie is a soundtrack album for the 1999 film of the same name.

Days in the Sun

"Days in the Sun" is a song written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice for the musical fantasy film Beauty and the Beast (2017), a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1991 animated film of the same name. Rice and Menken developed the concept in 2007 during the first discussions about a remake. Performed by Adam Mitchell, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, Audra McDonald, and Clive Rowe, "Days in the Sun" is one of four songs added to the 2017 film. It was released on March 10, 2017, as part of the film's soundtrack.

"Days in the Sun" is prominently featured in a flashback sequence about the death of the Beast's mother. In the lyrics, the Beast's servants and Belle reminisce about earlier parts of their lives. Serving as a replacement of the song "Human Again" from the stage adaptation of the original Disney film, it was regarded as a more sombre expression of the subject matter by music critics. An alternative version of "Days in the Sun", in which the Beast's mother sings a verse, was made available on the Blu-ray release; it was changed after a test audience confused Harriet Jones with Hattie Morahan, who played the mother and Agathe, respectively. Critical response to "Days in the Sun" was mixed; some critics praised its content while others questioned whether it was a necessary addition.

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The awards were established in 1955, with acting awards being given without making distinctions between roles in plays and musicals, or actors and actresses. The new award categories were later created in the 1975 ceremony.

† - indicates the performance won the Tony Award

‡ - indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award

How Glory Goes

How Glory Goes is the second album from Audra McDonald, released in 2000. Unlike her debut album Way Back to Paradise, which featured songs from younger composers, this album contains a mixture of new and old songs, mostly from musical theatre. Five of the songs were written by Harold Arlen, and two by Adam Guettel, including the title track.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill is a play with music by Lanie Robertson, recounting some events in the life of Billie Holiday. The play originally premiered in 1986 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and soon played Off-Broadway. The play opened on Broadway in 2014.

Master Class

Master Class is a 1995 play by American playwright Terrence McNally, presented as a fictional master class by opera singer Maria Callas near the end of her life, in the 1970s. As such, the play features incidental vocal music by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, and Vincenzo Bellini. The play opened on Broadway in 1995, with stars Zoe Caldwell and Audra McDonald winning Tony Awards.

Mister Sterling

Mister Sterling is an American television serial drama created by Lawrence O'Donnell that ran from January to March in 2003. It starred Josh Brolin as an idealistic United States Senator, and featured Audra McDonald, William Russ, David Noroña, and James Whitmore as members of his staff. Despite mostly positive reviews, the show, which aired on NBC on Friday nights, was cancelled after 10 episodes after the show only ranked 58th in the yearly ratings (9.83 million viewers, 6.7/12 rating/share)

Although it had numerous similarities to The West Wing in style and tone (especially the show's idealistic attitude towards politics) and the unnamed president in the series is stated to be a Democrat, it was not set in the same universe as O'Donnell's other political show. It is unknown if a cross-over would have ever occurred had Mister Sterling not been cancelled; however Steven Culp played presidential aspirant Sen. Ron Garland on Mister Sterling and House Speaker Jeff Haffley on The West Wing, and Democrats appeared to be in the majority in the US Senate on Mr Sterling, while in The West Wing consistent Republican control of both Houses of Congress was a key plot point.

James Whitmore was nominated for a 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing former Governor Bill Sterling, the senator's father.

The series was produced by Bernadette Joyce, co-producer; Garry A. Brown, co-producer; Michael Dinner, co-executive producer; Sandy Frank, co-producer; Jim Hart, co-executive producer; Jeff Melvoin, co-executive producer; Andrea Newman, producer; Lawrence O'Donnell, executive producer; Chip Vucelich, co-producer; William Bradley, consulting producer.

My Man's Gone Now

"My Man's Gone Now" is an aria composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward, written for the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

Sung in the original production by Ruby Elzy, it has been covered by many singers, notably Ella Fitzgerald (on the 1958 Porgy and Bess album), Leontyne Price, Audra McDonald (who would later sing the part of Bess), Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, and Shirley Horn, among others.

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

This page lists the winners and nominees for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The award was first given during the 1996 ceremony and since its conception, Loretta Devine holds the record for the most wins with five.

Naomi Bennett

Dr. Naomi Bennett is a fictional character on the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice. She was portrayed by Merrin Dungey in the backdoor pilot Grey's Anatomy episode, "The Other Side of This Life", but was replaced by Audra McDonald prior to the show's first season. Naomi is a fertility specialist and founding partner of the Oceanside Wellness Center in Los Angeles, where the series is set. She is the best friend of central character Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), and was married to the practice's internist Sam (Taye Diggs), with whom she has a daughter. She left Private Practice at the end of the fourth season, but returned for the series finale.

Private Practice (TV series)

Private Practice is an American medical drama television series which aired on ABC from September 26, 2007, to January 22, 2013. A spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, the series takes place at Seaside Wellness Center (formerly Oceanside Health & Wellness Group) and chronicles the life of Dr. Addison Montgomery, played by Kate Walsh, as she leaves Seattle Grace Hospital in order to join a private practice, located in Los Angeles. Private Practice also revolves around Addison's co-workers at Seaside Wellness Center, and how they deal with patients and the practice while still finding time to live their everyday lives.

The series was created by Shonda Rhimes, who also serves as executive producer, alongside Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Mark Tinker, Craig Turk, and Steve Blackman, who have served as showrunners due to Rhimes's duties on Grey's Anatomy.On May 11, 2012, Private Practice was renewed for a sixth season. The sixth season was the only one not to feature Tim Daly and was announced on October 19, 2012, to be the final season. The series finale aired on January 22, 2013. Reruns can be seen in syndication on some local ABC stations.

Ricki and the Flash

Ricki and the Flash is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Diablo Cody, about a woman who leaves her family to become a rock star and later gets a chance to make amends. The film stars Meryl Streep, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline, Sebastian Stan, Rick Springfield, Audra McDonald, and Ben Platt. The film marks Streep and Kline's third collaboration after Sophie's Choice (1982) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006). It was Demme's final dramatic film before his death in April 2017.

Principal photography began on October 13, 2014, in Rye, New York. TriStar Pictures financed, and released the film on August 7, 2015. The film received mixed reviews from critics who praised the performances of the cast but criticised its screenplay, tone and execution and grossed $41.3 million at the box office against its $30 million budget.

Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is a musical with a score by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle and a libretto by George C. Wolfe, based on the original book of the 1921 musical revue Shuffle Along, by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles. The story focuses on the challenges of mounting the original production of Shuffle Along and its effect on Broadway and race relations.

The musical played on Broadway in 2016 and starred Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon and Billy Porter. The initial critical response was mostly positive, with special praise from many critics for McDonald's performance. The production was nominated for ten Tony Awards but did not win any; it won four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. Shuffle Along closed on July 24, 2016 after 38 previews and 100 regular performances.

The Wonder of Christmas

The Wonder of Christmas was recorded during the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2001-2005 Christmas shows in the LDS Conference Center with special guests Angela Lansbury, Bryn Terfel, Audra McDonald, Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, and Walter Cronkite. The album was released in 2006.

Will Swenson (actor)

William Swenson (born October 26, 1972) is an American actor and singer best known for his work in musical theatre. He also has developed a film career, primarily in LDS cinema.

Wit (film)

Wit is a 2001 American television movie directed by Mike Nichols. The teleplay by Nichols and Emma Thompson is based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same title by Margaret Edson.

The film was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 9, 2001 before being broadcast by HBO on March 24. It was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the Warsaw Film Festival later in the year.

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