Fresh off her 2012 Tony Award-winning run of 322 Broadway performances of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” soprano Audra McDonald has been added to Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series.
McDonald performs Sunday, March 10, 2013 as a replacement for previously announced soprano Kelli O’Hara, who had to cancel her March 9 scheduled performance.
In June, McDonald was honored with a record-tying fifth Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical” for her portrayal of the beautiful-but-downtrodden Bess in the Gershwin classic. In a review of the production, the New York Times gushed “For devastating theatrical impact, it is hard to imagine any hurricane matching the tempest that is the extraordinary Audra McDonald. She is, in a word, great.”
McDonald previously collected Tony statutes for her performances in “Carousel” (1994), “Master Class” (1996), “Ragtime” (1998) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004).
Tickets for McDonald’s concert, at $30 for adults and seniors, and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, or by calling 920-832-6749. The box office will be closed for winter break Nov. 21-Jan. 2.
“When I heard Audra McDonald would be joining the Lawrence Artist Series, the first word out of my mouth was ‘Wow!,’”” said Joanne Bozeman, a voice teacher in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “I can’t think of anyone from the singing world — and that is a big world — who has performed brilliantly in so many genres: Broadway, musical theater, opera, straight theater, television, cabaret and concert appearances. She has a beautiful, versatile voice and technique. While I’m not sure which styles we will hear in her concert, I do know that it will be phenomenal singing and performing.”
The versatile and multi-talented McDonald has dazzled audiences with equal aplomb on Broadway, the world’s great opera stages and in roles on film and television. Beyond her five Tony Awards (she’s been nominated two other times), she also has won two Grammy Awards for best opera recording and best classical album for her work on the Los Angeles Opera production “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”
Born in Berlin and a graduate of The Julliard School, McDonald holds the distinction of being one of only two Americans in more than 100 years invited to appear as a guest soloist at the Last Night of the Proms, London’s famous international classical musical festival.
Other honors include four Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Ovation Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama League’s 2000 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and 2012 Distinguished Performance Award.
As an actress, McDonald recently ended four seasons as Dr. Naomi Bennett on the ABC television series “Private Practice.” She portrayed Bessie in the Peabody Award-winning CBS program “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years,” had a recurring role on NBC’s hit series “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and played Jackie Brock on the political drama “Mister Sterling.” In a 2008 made-for-TV adaption of “A Raisin in the Sun,” McDonald reprised her Tony-winning role of Ruth Younger, earning her second of two Emmy Award nominations.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.