Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people that year. Tony-winning performances include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – which served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut. On television, McDonald is known for her roles in ABC’s Private Practice and NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, and she won an Emmy as the official host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. She returned to Broadway in summer 2019 to star opposite Michael Shannon in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and can currently be seen as Liz Lawrence on CBS All Access’s The Good Fight, which launches its fourth season in 2020. Recent film credits include Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, the movie-musical Hello Again, and MGM’s forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. The Juilliard-trained soprano also maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist. Her latest solo album, Sing Happy, was recorded live with the New York Philharmonic for Decca Gold. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
©21C Media Group, December 2019
Photo © Allison Michael Orenstein