Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sergio Mims: Six-Time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald Returns to Carnegie Hall on Friday, December 12, 2014

Audra McDonald

Sergio Mims forwards this release from Carnegie Hall Public Relations:

Six-time Tony Award winner and Musical America’s 2014 Musician of the Year Audra McDonald, returns to Carnegie Hall on Friday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. She is joined by music director and pianist Andy Einhorn, bassist Mark Vanderpoel, and drummer Gene Lewin for a performance featuring many songs that are new to her repertoire. This concert is part of Ms. McDonald’s nationwide tour that starts December 2 and marks her fourth solo Carnegie Hall concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage; her most recent solo Carnegie Hall appearance was in October 2011.

About the Artist
Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry, as both a singer and an actress. With a record six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a long list of other accolades to her name, she is among today’s most highly regarded performers.

Born into a musical family, McDonald grew up in Fresno, California, and received her classical vocal training at The Juilliard School. A year after graduating, she won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel at Lincoln Center Theater. She received two additional Tony Awards in the featured actress category over the next four years for her performances in the Broadway premieres of Terrence McNally’s Master Class (1996) and his musical Ragtime (1998), earning her an unprecedented three Tony Awards before the age of 30. In 2004, she won her fourth Tony, starring alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs in A Raisin in the Sun, and in 2012 she won her fifth—and her first in the leading actress category—for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. In 2014, McDonald made Broadway history and became the Tony Awards’ most decorated performer when she won her sixth award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. In addition to setting the record for most competitive wins by an actor, she also became the first person to receive awards in all four acting categories. McDonald’s other theater credits include The Secret Garden (1993), Marie Christine (1999), Henry IV (2004), 110 in the Shade (2007), and her Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park debut in Twelfth Night alongside Anne Hathaway and Raúl Esparza (2009).

McDonald made her opera debut in 2006 at Houston Grand Opera, where she starred in a double bill—Poulenc’s monodrama La voix humaine and the world premiere of its companion piece, Send, written by one of McDonald’s frequent collaborators, Michael John LaChiusa. She made her Los Angeles Opera debut in 2007 starring alongside Patti LuPone in John Doyle’s production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The resulting recording won McDonald two Grammy Awards, for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album.

On the concert stage, McDonald has premiered music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams and sung with virtually every major American orchestra. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1998 with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas in a season-opening concert that was broadcast live on PBS. Television credits include the CBS program Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100; the 1999 Disney/ABC television remake of Annie; a recurring role on NBC’s hit series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; the political drama Mister Sterling; the WB’s The Bedford Diaries; NBC’s Kidnapped; the 2008 made-for-television movie adaption of A Raisin in the Sun; the role of Dr. Naomi Bennett on the hit ABC medical drama Private Practice from 2007 to 2011; and the role of Mother Abbess in NBC’s live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.

A familiar face on PBS, McDonald has headlined telecasts including an American Songbook season-opening concert, a presentation of Sondheim’s Passion, a Rodgers and Hammerstein tribute concert titled Something Wonderful, and four galas with the New York Philharmonic. She was also featured in the PBS television special, A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, singing at the request of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. McDonald has appeared three times on the Kennedy Center Honors; been profiled by 60 Minutes and the Today Show; been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the Colbert Report, the Megan Mullally Show, the Rosie O’Donnell Show, the Tavis Smiley Show, and the Wendy Williams Show; and has guest co-hosted on The View with Barbara Walters. In 2012, McDonald was named the new official host of the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center, which earned her a third Emmy nomination.

As an exclusive Nonesuch recording artist, McDonald released her most recent album, Go Back Home, in 2013, marking her first solo disc in seven years. She has released four previous solo albums on the label, interpreting songs from the classic (Gershwin, Arlen, and Bernstein) to the contemporary (Michael John LaChiusa, Adam Guettel, and Ricky Ian Gordon).

McDonald’s other accolades include five Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, four NAACP Image Awards nominations, an Ovation Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama League’s 2000 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and 2012 Distinguished Performance Award. She was named Musical America’s 2014 “Musician of the Year.”

Program Information
Friday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Andy Einhorn, Music Director and Piano
Mark Vanderpoel, Bass
Gene Lewin, Drums

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall

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