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Audra McDonald returns to the West End

Audra McDonald. Photo credit: Michael Wilson.

RECORD-breaking six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald is returning to the West End in April for four concerts at Leicester Square Theatre, where she completely sold out her shows last year.

Audra McDonald in Concert will run from April 12 to April 15, 2017.

The Broadway legend will be joined on stage this time by host and pianist Seth Rudetsky, who last month starred in the 5-star London premiere of his Broadway musical Disaster!.

The performances, produced by Mark Cortale, will also include a special guest appearance by McDonald’s husband, Will Swenson, the Tony nominated star of Hair and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The format of the evening will be a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories from one of Broadway’s biggest stars – prompted by Rudetsky’s probing, funny, revealing questions – and Audra singing some of the biggest hits from her musical theatre repertoire.

Audra McDonald’s last series of Leicester Square Theatre concerts were this week named one of 2016’s “Best Gigs of the Year” by reviewer Clive Davis of The Times and were among LiveTheatreUK’s Top 10 West End Musicals of the year.

Audra McDonald became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination.

On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess thereby tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. This past June, she made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the US.

McDonald’s many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in Private Practice as well as Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: SVU, Having Our Say, Mister Sterling, The Bedford Diaries, Kidnapped, the TV remake of the musical Annie and HBO’s Wit with Emma Thompson and more recently as a cast member of The Good Wife. In December 2013, she won critical acclaim for her performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s live telecast of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood.

Her film roles include Cradle Will Rock, Object of My Affection, It Runs in the Family, Best Thief in the World and Seven Servants.

McDonald returned to the Broadway stage in the spring and summer of 2016 with director George C. Wolfe and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover in the musical Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, a new retelling of an original musical by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.

Producer Mark Cortale previously presented the acclaimed Patti LuPone in concert with Seth Rudetsky in the same concert format at Leicester Square Theatre in 2013.

Tickets: £70 (a strictly limited number of top price tickets include post show meet and greet), £55, £40, £25. Booking fees apply. To book, call the box office on 0207 734 2222 or visit www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/.

Time: 8.45pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Image: Audra McDonald. Photo credit: Michael Wilson.

Ruby in the Dust’s production of Gatsby, starring Cressida Bonas as Daisy Buchanan, continues at Leiceaster Square Theatre until January 15, 2017.