7 Things You Didn’t Know About Super Star Audra McDonald

If you’re a theater fanatic, then you definitely know who Audra McDonald is.

The Essence Magazine April Cover Star, Audra has won multiple awards and accolades for her excellent portrayal of music legend Billie Holiday. Since Broadway revived Shuffle Along, McDonald has been spending most of her time there. Of late, we’ve also heard that she’s expecting a baby, which led to this summer’s postponing of London’s Lady Day performance at West End. But in addition to all these details that are scattered all over news platform and the entertainment web, we look deep into her life and resurface the interesting things that you might not have known about this superstar.

  • Her childhood drama – McDonald’s career started revealing itself when she was a small kid, she mostly feared rain and she would cry at any sight of it .Her parents realized that she was very dramatic and they channeled that energy into arts and it definitely worked out.
  • Attendance at Julliard where she didn’t fit in – Her passion for the stage made her apply at Julliard where she came to realize that it was not her place since they emphasized on opera music programs while her passion was on Broadway. At Julliard, she met Viola Davis who was studying acting at that time and they became good friends. She felt that the opera program she was undertaking was a waste of time for she was no good at it.
  • Her attempt to commit suicide – The experience at Julliard and the feeling that that’s not what she really wanted to do frustrated her and after two years at the Julliard art school she felt that she couldn’t bear it any longer and she attempted suicide. The Black student affairs director was the one who came to her aid by recommending a psychiatrist for her. She took a year off from school and joined a touring company, she later went back to Julliard to get her degree.
  • Her victory at Tony Awards – Despite the feeling that Julliard was not her place it still played a major role in her career for she won her first Tony award one year after college for her role in Carousel.
  • Her latest history-making Broadway project – Shuffle Along which starred Josephine Baker and Paul Robinson, is based on 1921 musical and it made history as one of the first African-American musicals to be ever performed on stage. This musical is yet to make history again as the first Broadway musical written and performed by African-American. It’s going to be a great hit this time.
  • Her six Tony awards do not define her – Audra is an actress who many people emulate, she has a strong will and does what no actress has done before and she continues to work harder and she says that the Tony awards do not slow her performance rather she gets motivated to do more.
  • Her desire to make her 15-year-old daughter proud – Audra lives for her daughter and she is proud of her for she is aware of the problems related with racialism and she is active in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Just like many parents are proud of their children, she also feels the same and all she wants is to leave behind a legacy for her daughter and to make her proud.

Certainly, Audra has got something great going, but it all didn’t come easy. She’s had to work hard and channel a lot of energy into her talent, and that’s precisely why she’s the successful actress we know today!

This Summer’s Season of Lady Day at EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL Postponed

Lady Day at Emmerson’s Bar & Grill is an award-winning hit that most play enthusiasts love to watch. But things aren’t looking so good this summer. Reportedly, the play’s star, Audra McDonald is expectant, and will be off the stage for quite a while.

Lady Day, a Broadway hit, had been scheduled to show at Wyndham’s theater starting 25th June. Since this is not happening, though, produces will announce dates for a later run anytime soon.

McDonald has bagged multiple Ton Awards, with her latest (sixth) recognizing her for an excellent performance portraying music legend Billie Holiday in New York. McDonald is very happy about the little miracle that has come into her life. She was quoted saying, “Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead to pregnancy? Will and I are completely surprised—and elated—to be expecting a new addition to our family. I am so very grateful…

Of course, I’m disappointed I have to postpone my West End debut in Lady Day, but I look forward to rescheduling as soon as possible.”

McDonald is currently featuring on Broadway production Shuffle Along. She was set to make the West End debut in London for the highly acclaimed drama that highlights the life, love and loss of Holliday’s staggering story for audiences across the world.

The reception for the London show has already been very warm, with plummeting ticket purchases. However, individuals who had already bought tickets have been advised to get in touch with their Box Office towards arranging a refund. Apparently, the high-placed opportune to witness Audra McDonald perform many of the singer’s most iconic hits will have to wait a little bit longer for theater aficionados.

About Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is one of the most popular modern-time plays there is. Created by Lanie Robertson, it recounts events in the life of legendary singer Billie Holiday. The play premiered at the Alliance Theatre in George back in 1986, before playing Off-Broadway. Lady Day opened on Broadway more recently in April 2014, directed by Lonny Price. Actress Audra McDonald starred Billie Holiday, featuring Shelton Becton as pianist Jimmy Powers. Sets were created by James Noone, with Esosa taking care of the costumes.


Actress & Recent Updates

By the time the play was closed in October 2014, Audra McDonald garnered six record-breaking Tony Awards for the show. She also became the first person to prosper in all four categories for the acting awards, not to forget winning for the Best Actress in a Play. The Play scored an award for the Best Sound Design. It was filmed at New Orleans’s Café Brasil and broadcast on HBO starting March 12th, 2016. More recently, McDonald was scheduled to re-appear in West End at Wyndham’s Theatre between June 15th and September 3rd this year. However, appearance was postponed since McDonald and her husband (Will Swenson) are expecting a baby.

The Plot

Lady Day takes place in South Philadelphia starting March 1959. In the scene, Billie Holiday performs in a run-down bar before she met her death in July of the same year. As she sings, she is telling stories about her life and has Jimmy Powers at the piano.