Radio, TV, Recordings, Concerts, Broadway, Opera……. Audra McDonald has a career that is short on years but long on accomplishments. She was born into a musical family and was blessed with a lyric soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic integrity. This luminous talent is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages as in roles for film and television. In addition, she has maintained a major career as a concert and recording artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras.
Ms. McDonald began as a hyperactive child (Her parents chose theaters training as an alternative to therapy.) Her teenage years were devoted to performing in regional theater in Northern California. Audra gained national attention when at the age of 16 she was awarded the title role in EVITA. A teenaged black girl as Evita, a white woman, was a scandalous concept for all but the talented Miss McDonald who performed to critical acclaim! She continued her acting while attending the California High School of the Performing Arts and subsequently auditioned for and was accepted to the classical music program at Julliard. Immediately after graduating from their prestigious classical voice program in 1994, Audra auditioned for and won the role of Carrie in the Broadway revival of Carousel. This was another controversial role for a black woman but she silenced the controversy by winning the Outer Limits, Theatre World and Tony Awards as Best Actress in a Featured Role in 1994. This was her first of four Tony Awards, three of which she received before her 28th birthday. Ms McDonald has earned Tony Awards for Best Actress in A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime and Master Class, in addition to Carousel. Her other Broadway Awards include an Ovation , Outer Critics Circle and two Drama Desk Awards for Best Actress along with two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Grammys. Ms. McDonald is currently preparing for the lead role and a 2012 opening of Porgy and Bess on Broadway.
Audra has chosen to end her four seasons starring in her Emmy Award winning role as Dr. Naomi Bennett in ABC’s Private Practice in order to spend a short time at home (starring in her favorite role as the mother to her daughter, Zoe Madeline.) She will open a 20 city concert tour which includes performances at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Boston’s Celebrity Series, the Washington D.C. Kennedy Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall……then on to the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York for George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess!