Thursday, 14 January 2016

Audra McDonald to make West End debut in Lady Day

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye has announced that Audra McDonald will make her West End debut later this year.

The Broadway legend - who has won six Tony Awards - will reprise her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

The "musical play" opens at the Wyndham's Theatre on 5th July (previews from 24th June) for a limited run to 3rd September 2016.

McDonald is about to star in the Broadway premiere of musical Shuffle Along. The show opens at New York's Music Box Theatre on 28th April (previews from 15th March). McDonald will take a break from Shuffle Along between 20th June and 25th September so that she can make her West End debut in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Written by Lanie Robertson and directed by Lonny Price, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill recounts Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous, including “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”

This Sunday (17th January), McDonald will perform two sold out concerts in London at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Classically trained at the Juilliard School in New York, McDonald won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel at the Lincoln Center. 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 she 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 theatre 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). She returns to Broadway in the 2015-16 season as Lottie Gee in Shuffle Along.

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