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Audra McDonald

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Title: Audra McDonald  
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Subject: Private Practice (TV series), Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, Bebe Neuwirth, Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical
Collection: 1970 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from Fresno, California, African-American Actresses, American Female Singers, American Film Actresses, American Musical Theatre Actresses, American Operatic Sopranos, American Stage Actresses, American Television Actresses, Drama Desk Award Winners, Grammy Award Winners, Juilliard School Alumni, Living People, Musicians from Fresno, California, Nonesuch Records Artists, People from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, Tony Award Winners
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Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald, 2008
Born Audra Ann McDonald
(1970-07-03) July 3, 1970
West Berlin
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s)
  • Peter Donovan (m. 2000; div. 2009)
  • Will Swenson (m. 2012)
Children 1

Audra Ann McDonald (born July 3, 1970) is an American actress and singer. She has appeared on the stage in both musicals and dramas, such as song cycles and operas as well as performing in concert throughout the U.S. She has won six Tony Awards, more than any other actor, and is the only person to win all four acting categories.[1] She also starred in the ABC television drama Private Practice as Dr. Naomi Bennett.

Contents

  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Theatre 2.1
    • Recordings and concerts 2.2
    • Television and film 2.3
  • Personal life 3
  • Discography 4
    • Solo recordings 4.1
    • Featured recordings 4.2
    • Cast recordings 4.3
    • Video recordings 4.4
  • Audio books 5
  • Feature films 6
  • Television 7
  • Theatre 8
  • Awards and nominations 9
    • Stage 9.1
    • TV 9.2
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life and education

McDonald was born in West Berlin, the daughter of American parents, Anna Kathryn, a university administrator, and Stanley McDonald, Jr., a high school principal.[2] At the time of her birth, her father was stationed with the U.S. Army. McDonald was raised in Fresno, California, the elder of two daughters. She began to study acting at a young age to counteract her diagnosis as "hyperactive". McDonald graduated from the Roosevelt School of the Arts program within Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno.[3] 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."[4] She studied classical voice as an undergraduate under Ellen Faull at the Juilliard School,[5] graduating in 1993.[6]

Career

Theatre

McDonald was a three-time Tony Award winner by age 28 for her performances in Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

McDonald appeared in a revised version of 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.[10] For this role, McDonald won her fifth Tony Award and her first in a Leading Actress category.[11] This American Repertory Theater production was "re-imagined by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre Murray as a musical for contemporary audiences."[12]

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.[13] After previews that began on March 25, 2014, the play opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 13, 2014.[13] 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.[13]

McDonald won the Tony Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for this role, making her the first person to ever 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. [14] In her acceptance speech, "she thanked her parents for encouraging her to pursue her interests as a child."[15] 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." [16]

In February 2014, it was reported that McDonald might star as Jessie alongside

External links

  1. ^ "Tony Awards Facts & Trivia". Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/61/Audra-McDonald.html
  3. ^ "Audra – Living Her Dream". The Fresno Bee. January 15, 1989. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  4. ^ """Audra McDonald's a tough act to follow in "Evita. The Fresno Bee. December 5, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  5. ^ a b c Green, Blake. "Never Short of Breath", sfgate.com (originally in the San Francisco Chronicle), July 16, 2000
  6. ^ "Alumni News: November 2011". Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Audra McDonald (BM ’93, voice) 
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. Chenoweth, Dench, Linney, McDonald, Rashad Nominated for Emmy Awards", playbill.com, July 17, 2008
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'Utopia' and 'Spring Awakening' Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards", playbill.com, May 21, 2007
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Stanley McDonald Jr., Father of Tony-Winner Audra McDonald, Dies in Air Crash", playbill.com, April 30, 2007
  10. ^ "Porgy and Bess on Playbill Vault". PlaybillVault.com
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam. 2012 "Tony Awards Nominations Announced; 'Once' Earns 11 Nominations". Playbill.com, May 1, 2012
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew and Hetrick, Adam. "Norm Lewis-Audra McDonald 'Porgy and Bess' Will Play Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre" playbill.com, June 29, 2011
  13. ^ a b c "Audra McDonald to Return to Broadway as Billie Holiday". Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Audra Mcdonald Nets a Record Sixth Win" npr.org, June 9, 2014
  15. ^ 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" playbill.com, June 8, 2014
  16. ^ "Audra McDonald Wins 6th Tony Award Makes Broadway History" essence.com, June 8, 2014
  17. ^ Gioia, Michael. Revival in the Works"Color Purple?; ‍ '​night, Mother"Will Oprah Winfrey Make Broadway Debut Opposite Audra McDonald in , playbill.com, February 6, 2014
  18. ^ "Oprah Winfrey still eyeing a Broadway debut?" newyorktheatreguide.com, March 4, 2015
  19. ^ "Six-Time Tony Winner Audra McDonald Will Lead Shuffle Along Musical on Broadway", broadway.com, retrieved June 7, 2015
  20. ^ at Williamstown, Starting Tonight"Moon for the Misbegotten"Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Star in , Playbill, August 5, 2015
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald to Offer Concerts Throughout U.S.", playbill.com, April 8, 2008
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald Premieres The Seven Deadly Sins June 2 at Zankel Hall", playbill.com, June 2, 2004
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald to Debut New LaChiusa Piece at Houston Grand Opera", playbill.com, July 26, 2005
  24. ^ Simonson, Robert and Gans, Andrew. "Doyle to Direct LuPone and McDonald in 'Mahagonny' ", playbill.com, January 16, 2006
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew. "In the Heights Cast Recording Wins Grammy; Hudson and LuPone-McDonald "Mahagonny" Also Win", playbill.com, February 8, 2009
  26. ^ Portantiere, Michael (September 2008). "Over the Borderline". Opera News Online 73 (3). Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  27. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Audra McDonald Sings Composers of Today and Future at Joe's Pub", playbill.com, May 22, 2002
  28. ^ Suskin, Steven. "On The Record: A Complete Cabaret With Judi Dench, and Audra McDonald's "Build a Bridge", playbill.com, November 12, 2006
  29. ^ Hetrick, Adam (April 9, 2013). "Audra McDonald's New Album, "Go Back Home" Sets May Release; PBS Concert Will Follow". Playbill. 
  30. ^ Moon, Josh. "Alabama wins 13th national championship" montgomeryadvertiser.com, January 8, 2010
  31. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Emmy Noms Go to 'Wit,' 'South Pacific,' 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' and More", July 12, 2001
  32. ^ a b c Audra McDonald at the Internet Movie Database
  33. ^ Gans, Andrew. "PBS to Broadcast Audra McDonald's New Year's Eve Concert", playbill.com, November 29, 2006
  34. ^ Six By Sondheim" Doc, With Performances by Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Debuts on HBO Dec. 9""". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  35. ^ Buckley, Michael (24 September 2007). "Stage to Screens: Audra McDonald, Kenneth Branagh, Craig Wright, Jill Clayburgh".  
  36. ^ "Audra McDonald to Exit Private Practice".  
  37. ^ Gans, Andrew (9 February 2011). "Private Practice"Audra McDonald Departing ABC's .  
  38. ^ Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle Join Cast of NBC's Sound of Music Playbill, Retrieved September 16, 2013
  39. ^ 'Sound of Music Live!' with Carrie Underwood: NBC announces more cast, releases poster Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved September 16, 2013
  40. ^ "McDonald Sets Record Straight". BroadwayWorld News Desk. June 3, 2009. 
  41. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Get Married" playbill.com, October 7, 2012
  42. ^ Three Westchester Natives Up For Tony Awards Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  43. ^ McDonald record listing nonesuch.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  44. ^ listingWay Back to Paradise barnesandnoble.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  45. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Audra McDonald's 'How Glory Goes' Released in Stores Feb. 22" playbill.com, February 10, 2000
  46. ^ McDonald listing masterworksbroadway.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  47. ^ "Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square: Featuring Audra McDonald and Peter Graves" mormontabernaclechoir.org, retrieved January 8, 2010
  48. ^ listingJule Styne in Hollywood footlight.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  49. ^ The Wonder of Christmas mormontabernaclechoir.org, retrieved January 8, 2010
  50. ^ "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky", listing nonesuch.com, accessed August 15, 2009
  51. ^ Suskin, Steven. "On the Record: Dazzling Dreamgirls and 1943 Show Tunes", playbill.com, March 10, 2002
  52. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gans, Andrew. "Complete Allegro Recording, with McDonald, Gunn and Wilson, to Arrive In Stores Feb. 3", playbill.com, December 8, 2008
  53. ^ Porgy and Bess, playbill.com, 2012
  54. ^ Audra McDonald Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill Original Broadway Cast Recording Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  55. ^ Getting There from Here: Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story isbndb.com, accessed August 15, 2009
  56. ^ McDonald Broadway credits ibdb.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  57. ^ Awards and nominations, theatre playbill.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  58. ^ Awards and nominations, TV imdb.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
  59. ^ 98.7 KISS-FM (7 April 2005). "Emmis communications/98.7 KISS-FM celebrated Women's History Month by introducing its first annual salute to Phenomenal Women". Press Release (Emmis Communications). 

References

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 Emmy Award Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Wit Nominated
OFTA Award Best Supporting Actress in a TV film Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Variety – Series or Special Audra McDonald in Concert Nominated
2008 Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
OFTA Award Best Supporting Actress in a TV film Won
Emmy Award Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Private Practice Nominated
2009 Nominated
2010 Nominated
2013 Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actress in a Movie The Sound of Music Live! Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Special Class Program Carousel (Live from Lincoln Center) Nominated
2015 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Live from Lincoln Center) Won

TV

Year Award[57][58] 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
Theatre World Award Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
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 Emmis Communications/Hot-97 "KISS-FM" Phenomenal Woman Award Phenomenal Woman[59] 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 Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill's opera 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 (w/ Norm Lewis) Nominated
2013 Grammy Award Best Musical Theatre Album Won
Sarah Siddons Society Award Distinguished Achievement in the Theatre Won
align="center"| 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

Stage

Awards and nominations

Year Show[56] Role Notes
1992 The Secret Garden Ayah (replacement) St. James Theatre
1992 – January 3, 1993
1994 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Vivian Beaumont Theater
March 24, 1994 – January 15, 1995
1995 Something Wonderful Performer Gershwin Theatre
July 12, 1995
1995 Master Class Sharon Graham John Golden Theatre
November 5, 1995 – June 29, 1997
1998 Ragtime Sarah Ford Center for the Performing Arts
January 18, 1998 – January 16, 2000
1999 Marie Christine Marie Christine L'Adrese Vivian Beaumont Theater
December 2, 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
2003 Henry IV Lady Percy Vivian Beaumont Theater
November 20, 2003 – January 18, 2004
2004 A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger Royale Theatre
April 26, 2004 – July 11, 2004
2005 Passion Clara Lincoln Center
March 30 - April 1, 2005
Wonderful Town Eileen Berlin Philharmonic
2007 Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny Jenny Los Angeles Opera
February 2007
2007 110 in the Shade Lizzie Curry Studio 54
May 9, 2007 – 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
2012 Porgy and Bess Bess Richard Rodgers Theatre
January 12, 2012 – 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
April 13, 2014 – October 5, 2014
2015 A Moon for the Misbegotten Josie Williamstown Theatre Festival
August 2015
2016 Shuffle Along: The Making of The Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed Lottie Gee Music Box Theatre
Previews begin March 14, 2016.

Theatre

Year Title[32] 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
2007–2013 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
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
2015 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Billie Holiday Filmed stage production

Television

Year Film Role
1996 Seven Servants
1998 The Object of My Affection Wedding Singer
1999 Cradle Will Rock Blitzstein – 'Joe Worker' Singer
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 Garderobe
TBA Hello Again Sally

Feature films

  • Alice Walker, By The Light of My Father's Smile (1998)
  • Connie Briscoe, A Long Way From Home (1999)
  • Rita Dove, Second-Hand Man (2003)[55]

Audio books

  • Audra McDonald – Live at the Donmar London, VHS (1999)
  • My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies("The Webber Love Trio"),DVD & CD (1999)
  • Bernstein – Wonderful Town with Kim Criswell, Thomas Hampson, Wayne Marshall, Simon Rattle, and Berlin Philharmonic, DVD (2005)
  • The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, DVD (2005)
  • Weill – Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, DVD (2007)
  • Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, Blu-ray DVD (2010)

Video recordings

Cast recordings

  • Dawn Upshaw Sings Rodgers & Hart (duet on "Why Can't I?") (1996)
  • Leonard Bernstein's New York ("A Little Bit in Love" and "Tonight" duet with Mandy Patinkin) (1996)
  • George and Ira Gershwin: Standards and Gems ("How Long Has This Been Going On?") (1998)
  • George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration (Porgy and Bess selections) (1998)
  • Cradle Will Rock ("Joe Worker") (1999)
  • Myths and Hymns ("Pegasus") (1999)
  • My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies ("The Webber Love Trio") (1999)
  • Broadway In Love ("You Were Meant For Me" from The Object of My Affection) (2000)
  • Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays ("White Christmas") (2001)
  • Bright Eyed Joy: The Songs Of Ricky Ian Gordon ("Daybreak in Alabama", etc.) (2001)
  • ZEITGEIST ("Think Twice") (2005)
  • The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (2004)[47]
  • Barbara Cook at the Met ("When Did I Fall In Love?" and "Blue Skies") (2006)
  • Jule Styne in Hollywood ("10,432 Sheep") (2006)[48]
  • Guest Artist, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's The Wonder of Christmas ("Sweet Little Jesus Boy", "Children Go Where I Send Thee") (2006)[49]
  • New York Pops American River Suite (featured on "Prologue/Through The Mist/Half Moon") [Recording offered as a FREE download for a limited time on the official New York Pops website.]
  • Stages, Josh Groban, (featured on "If I Love You"), 2014

Featured recordings[46]

  • Way Back to Paradise (Nonesuch, 1998)[44]
  • How Glory Goes (2000)[45]
  • Happy Songs (2005)
  • Build a Bridge (2006)
  • Go Back Home (2013)

Solo recordings[43]

Discography

McDonald lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.[42]

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

McDonald married bassist Peter Donovan in September 2000.[5] They have one daughter, Zoe, named after McDonald's close friend Zoe Caldwell. McDonald and Donovan divorced in 2009.[40] She married Will Swenson on October 6, 2012.[41]

Personal life

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. With this Emmy win, McDonald is now one step closer to winning the coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards) as she has won two Grammy Awards and six Tony Awards.

McDonald played Mother Abbess in the 2013 NBC live television production of The Sound of Music Live!.[38][39]

In films, McDonald has appeared in 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).[32]

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.[35] 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. [36][37]

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 TV Movie for the HBO film Wit, starring Emma Thompson and directed by Mike Nichols.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33] In 2013, she appeared in the HBO documentary Six by Sondheim.[34]

Television and film

In May 2000, Audra McDonald appeared as "The Beggar Woman" in 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.

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.[30]

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.[29]

Her next album, How Glory Goes (2000), combined both old and new works, and included composers Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Kern.[5] Her third album, Happy Songs (2002), was big band music from the 1920s through the '40s.[27] Her fourth album, Build a Bridge (2006), features songs from jazz and pop.[28]

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.

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.[26]

McDonald has maintained ties to her classical training and repertoire. She frequently performs in concert throughout the U.S.[21] 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.[22] 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).[23] 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.[24] The recording of the Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, featuring McDonald and Patti LuPone, won two Grammy Awards, for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album in February 2009.[25]

Audra McDonald performing at the Wright Center in 2011

Recordings and concerts

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]

McDonald will star 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. It is scheduled to begin previews on March 14, 2016, and open on April 21 at the Music Box Theatre.[19]

[18] However, in March 2015 Winfrey announced that she has decided not to appear in the play.[17]

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