Broadway superstar and award-winning actress Audra McDonald brings her luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling to the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel Sunday, March 10 for an 8 p.m. performance. The concert is part of Lawrence’s 2012-13 Artist Series.
Tickets, at $30 for adults and seniors, and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., 920-832-6749.
McDonald is replacing previously announced Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, who had to cancel her appearance. Series orders for the Kelli O’Hara performance will be honored for the Audra McDonald concert. If ticket holders have any questions or would like to exchange their tickets for another event or receive a refund, contact the Lawrence University Box Office.
McDonald, who made her Broadway debut in 1992 while still a student at Julliard School, earned a record-tying fifth Tony Award last year for her portrayal of the beautiful-but-downtrodden Bess in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.” She is the only actress to win five Tonys within a 20-year period, as well as the youngest performer and first African-American to do so.
In a review of the production, which won the 2012 Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical,” 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, 42, the first person in Broadway history to win three Tony Awards before the age of 30, also has been honored with Tonys for her performance in “Carousel” (1994), “Master Class” (1996), “Ragtime” (1998) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004).
“Lawrence is absolutely thrilled to welcome Audra McDonald to our Artist Series,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “Rarely has there been a singer of such musical acclaim in so many genres. From opera to musical theater, from television to the concert stage, she wows audiences wherever she performs. The conservatory is buzzing with excitement for her performance. We can hardly wait.”
Away from Broadway, the versatile and multitalented McDonald has dazzled audiences with equal aplomb on the world’s great opera stages and in roles on film and television.
She has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and National symphonies, the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras.
McDonald is a two-time Grammy Award winner for her work on the Los Angeles Opera production “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”
As an actress, McDonald may be best known for her portrayal of Dr. Naomi Bennett on the ABC television series “Private Practice” for four seasons (2007-11). She was 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 earned her second Emmy Award nomination for her role as Ruth Younger.
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.
Born in Berlin and a 1993 Julliard School graduate, McDonald is 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.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized 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 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.