|Education||Juilliard School (BM)|
Audra Ann McDonald (born July 3, 1970) is an American actress and singer. Primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage, she has won six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win in all four acting categories.[note 1] She has performed in musicals, operas, and dramas such as A Moon for the Misbegotten, 110 in the Shade, Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class, and Porgy and Bess.
As a classical soprano, she has performed in staged operas with the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and in concerts with symphony orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. In 2008, her recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Los Angeles Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. She has a close working relationship with composer Michael John LaChiusa who has written several works for her, including the Broadway musical Marie Christine, the opera Send (who are you? i love you), and The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle. With her full lyric soprano voice, she maintains an active concert and recording career throughout the United States performing a wide repertoire from classical to musical theater to jazz and popular songs. In 2016, McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2017.
On television, McDonald portrayed Dr. Naomi Bennett as a main cast member of Shonda Rhimes's ABC television drama Private Practice from 2007 to 2011. She also portrayed the character of Liz Lawrence in season 4 of The Good Wife, a role that she reprises as a main cast member in the spinoff series The Good Fight; she received two Critics Choice Award nominations for her performance. In 2013 she performed the role of Mother Superior in The Sound of Music Live! opposite Carrie Underwood as Maria. She has twice been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, for her portrayals of Susie Monahan in Wit opposite Emma Thompson in 2001 and for her performance of Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun in 2008. In 2016, she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill for HBO in which McDonald portrayed jazz legend Billie Holiday. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program in 2015 for her work hosting the program Live from Lincoln Center.
On film, McDonald is best known for her portrayals of Maureen in Ricki and the Flash (2015), Madame de Garderobe in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (2017), and Barbara Siggers Franklin in Respect (2021). She has been nominated seven times for the NAACP Image Awards for her work in television and film.
Early life and education
McDonald was born in West Berlin, Germany, the daughter of American parents, Anna Kathryn (Jones), a university administrator, and Stanley James McDonald Jr., a high school principal. At the time of her birth, her father was stationed with the United States Army. McDonald was raised in her father's native Fresno, California, the elder of two daughters; her sister, Alison, writes and directs for television and film. McDonald graduated from the Roosevelt School of the Arts program within Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno.
She got her start in acting with Dan Pessano and Roger Rocka's Good Company Players, beginning in their junior company. In a feature article about her written when she was a child, she said that she knew she wanted to be involved in theater "when I had my first chance to perform with the Good Company Players Junior Company." She also said that the people who have had the most impact on her life are "Good Company director Dan Pessano and my mother." She studied classical voice as an undergraduate under Ellen Faull at the Juilliard School, graduating in 1993.
McDonald was a three-time Tony Award winner by age 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 was nominated for another Tony Award for her performance in Marie Christine before she won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, placing her in the company of then four-time winning actress Angela Lansbury. She reprised her Raisin role 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 Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, thus tying Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris. Her 2014 performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill earned McDonald her sixth Tony award and made her the first person to win all four acting categories.
McDonald appeared as Lizzie in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade, directed by Lonny Price at Studio 54, for which she shared the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical with Donna Murphy. On April 29, 2007, while she was in previews for the show, her father was killed when an experimental aircraft he was flying crashed north of Sacramento, California.
McDonald is known for defying racial typecasting in her various Tony Award-winning and -nominated roles. Her performances as Carrie Pipperidge in Nicholas Hytner's 1994 revival of Carousel and Lizzie Curry in Lonny Price's 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade made her the first black woman to portray those traditionally white roles in a major Broadway production. Of her groundbreaking work in encouraging diversity in musical theatre casting, she said in an interview for The New York Times, "I refuse to be stereotyped. If I think I am right for a role I will go for it in whatever way I can. I refuse to say no to myself. I can't control what a producer will do or say but I can at least put myself out there." In a Talk of the Nation interview on NPR, Asian-American actor Thom Sesma said McDonald's performance in Carousel "transcended any kind of type at all", proving her to be "more actress than African-American."
McDonald has also performed in opera. In 2006 she made her opera debut at the Houston Grand Opera performing Francis Poulenc's La Voix humaine and the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's one-woman opera Send (who are you? I love you). She had previously performed in the world premiere of John Adams' I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky which was given in concert, and can be heard on the 1997 recording of the opera. In 2007 she performed the role of Jenny Smith in Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Los Angeles Opera. Her performance was recorded and won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 2009. She appeared in a revised version of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, at the American Repertory Theatre (in Cambridge, Massachusetts) from August through September 2011, and recreated the role on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, which opened on January 12, 2012, and closed on September 23, 2012. For this role, McDonald won her fifth Tony Award and her first in a Leading Actress category. This American Repertory Theater production was "re-imagined by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre Murray as a musical for contemporary audiences."
In 2014, she was featured in Lynn Nottage's short play Poof!, alongside Tonya Pinkins. It was produced for radio and podcast by Playing On Air.
In 2016, McDonald starred on Broadway as the vaudeville performer Lottie Gee in a new musical titled Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed about the making of the 1921 musical Shuffle Along. Shuffle Along closed on July 24, 2016, and McDonald began a maternity hiatus at that time. In 2019 McDonald played as Frankie in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at the Broadhurst Theatre, earning her ninth Tony Award nomination for her performance for Best Actress in a Play.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
McDonald played Billie Holiday on Broadway in the play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill in a limited engagement that ended on August 10, 2014. After previews that began on March 25, 2014, the play opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 13, 2014. Of the play, McDonald said in an interview:
It's about a woman trying to get through a concert performance, which I know something about, and she's doing it at a time when her liver was pickled and she was still doing heroin regularly...I might have been a little judgmental about Billie Holiday early on in my life, but what I've come to admire most about her – and what is fascinating in this show – is that there is never any self-pity. She's almost laughing at how horrible her life has been. I don't think she sees herself as a victim. And she feels an incredible connection to her music – she can't sing a song if she doesn't have some emotional connection to it, which I really understand.
McDonald won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for this role, making her the first person to earn six Tony Award wins for acting (not counting honorary awards) and the first person to win a Tony Award in all four acting categories. In her acceptance speech, "she thanked her parents for encouraging her to pursue her interests as a child." She also thanked the "strong and brave and courageous" African-American women who came before her, saying in part, "I am standing on Lena Horne's shoulders. I am standing on Maya Angelou's shoulders. I am standing on Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee, and most of all, Billie Holiday. You deserved so much more than you were given when you were on this planet. This is for you, Billie." This performance was filmed at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans and broadcast on HBO on March 12, 2016. McDonald received a 2016 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in the broadcast.
McDonald had planned to make her West End debut as Holiday in Lady Day in June through September 2016, but after becoming pregnant she postponed these plans. She performed in Lady Day in June 2017 through September 9, 2017, at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End.
Recordings and concerts
McDonald has maintained ties to her classical training and repertoire. She frequently performs in concert throughout the U.S. and has performed with musical organizations such as the New York Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Carnegie Hall commissioned the song cycle The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle for McDonald, and she performed it at Carnegie's Zankel Hall on June 2, 2004. She sang two solo one-act operas at the Houston Grand Opera in March 2006: Francis Poulenc's La voix humaine and the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Send (who are you? I love you). On February 10, 2007, McDonald starred with Patti LuPone in the Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny directed by John Doyle. The recording of this production of Mahagonny won two Grammy Awards, for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album in February 2009.
McDonald has recorded five solo albums for Nonesuch Records. Her first, the 1998 Way Back to Paradise, featured songs written by a new generation of musical theatre composers who had achieved varying degrees of prominence in the 1990s, particularly LaChiusa, Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown.
Her next album, How Glory Goes (2000), combined both old and new works, and included composers Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Kern. Her third album, Happy Songs (2002), was big band music from the 1920s through the 1940s. Her fourth album, Build a Bridge (2006), features songs from jazz and pop.
In May 2013, Audra McDonald released her first solo album in seven years, Go Back Home, with a title track from the Kander & Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys. To coincide with the album's release, McDonald performed a concert at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City that aired on the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center titled Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home.
In May 2000, Audra McDonald appeared as "The Beggar Woman" in Lonny Price's concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, performed at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, with the New York Philharmonic with George Hearn and Patti LuPone. She reprised the role in some performances of the March 2014 Lincoln Center concert production, again directed by Price, this time opposite Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. She performed three concerts, titled "Audra McDonald Sings Broadway", in the Sydney Opera House in November 2015, which also included "The Facebook Song" by Kate Miller-Heidke.
Television and film
McDonald has also made many television and film appearances, both musical and dramatic. In 1996 she made her film acting debut in Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof. After being cast in The Object of My Affection and Cradle Will Rock, in 1999 she appeared on the television series Homicide: Life on the Street, in television remake of Annie as Daddy Warbucks' secretary & soon-to-be wife, Miss Farrell, and in the television film Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. In 2000, McDonald acted in two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and in the television film The Last Debate.
In 2001, she received her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for the HBO film Wit, which starred Emma Thompson and was directed by Mike Nichols.
In 2003, McDonald starred as Sarah Langley in It Runs in the Family, and as Jackie Brock in nine episodes of short-lived Mister Sterling. From 2005 to 2006, she acted in several television series and films, such as The Bedford Diaries and Kidnapped, while from 2007 to 2013 she played Dr. Naomi Bennett in Private Practice, a spinoff of Grey's Anatomy, replacing Merrin Dungey, who played the role in the series pilot. She sang with the New York Philharmonic in the annual New Year's Eve gala concert on December 31, 2006, featuring music from the movies; it was televised on Live from Lincoln Center by PBS.
In 2008, McDonald starred as Ruth Younger in the critically acclaimed television movie A Raisin in the Sun, and was nominated at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, and at the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie.
Since 2012, McDonald has served as host for the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program with the show's producers for Sweeney Todd, aired in 2015.
In 2016, McDonald starred as Billie Holiday in the filmed stage production, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, for which she received critical acclaim. She earned nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series.
In 2017, McDonald starred in Walt Disney Pictures motion picture Beauty and the Beast as Madame de Garderobe, earning a nomination at the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
On August 1, 2017, it was announced that she had been added to the main cast for the second season of The Good Fight, reprising her role as Liz Lawrence from The Good Wife season 4. McDonald stayed in the cast for the next seasons, and was nominated twice for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
In 2021, she appeared as Barbara Siggers Franklin in Aretha Franklin's biographical musical drama film Respect, earning a nomination at the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
McDonald married bassist Peter Donovan in September 2000. They have one daughter, Zoe Madeline Donovan, named after McDonald's close friend and Master Class co-star Zoe Caldwell and the late Madeline Kahn. McDonald became close friends with Kahn after they filmed a TV pilot together, and she found out she was carrying a girl the same day she sang at Kahn's memorial. McDonald and Donovan divorced in 2009.
She married Will Swenson on October 6, 2012. On October 19, 2016, she gave birth to their daughter, Sally James McDonald-Swenson. She is the stepmother to Swenson's two sons from his previous marriage.
Activism and charitable work
In June 2020, McDonald and a coalition of professionals from across the theatre industry launched Black Theatre United, an organization whose mission is to inspire reform and combat systemic racism within the theatre community and throughout the nation. Emphasizing four goals – awareness, accountability, advocacy, and action – BTU works at the community and national levels to elevate anti-racist causes and support the Black community through various resources and initiatives.
McDonald joined other Broadway stars including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Laura Benanti, and Kristin Chenoweth in 2018 to record Singing You Home, a bilingual children's album designed to benefit organizations that aid families separated at the border.
She joined the Covenant House board of Directors in 2014. Covenant House oversees programs for homeless youth in 27 cities in six countries across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Audra was the recipient of their 2018 Beacon of Hope Award.
- Way Back to Paradise (Nonesuch, 1998)
- How Glory Goes (2000)
- Happy Songs (2002)
- Build a Bridge (2006)
- Go Back Home (2013)
- Sing Happy (2018)
- Dawn Upshaw Sings Rodgers & Hart – duet on "Why Can't I?" (1996)
- Leonard Bernstein's New York – duet with Mandy Patinkin on "A Little Bit in Love" and "Tonight" (1996)
- George and Ira Gershwin: Standards and Gems – sings "How Long Has This Been Going On?" (1998)
- George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration – sings Porgy and Bess selections (1998)
- Myths and Hymns – sings "Pegasus" (1999)
- My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies – sings "The Webber Love Trio" (1999)
- Broadway In Love – sings "You Were Meant For Me" from The Object of My Affection (2000)
- Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays – sings "White Christmas" (2001)
- Bright Eyed Joy: The Songs Of Ricky Ian Gordon – sings "Daybreak in Alabama" (2001)
- Zeitgeist – sings "Think Twice" (2005)
- The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (2004)
- Barbara Cook at the Met – sings "When Did I Fall In Love?" and "Blue Skies" (2006)
- Jule Styne in Hollywood – sings "10,432 Sheep" (2006)
- Sondheim: The Birthday Concert – sings "Too Many Mornings" and "The Glamorous Life" (2010)
- Stages – duet on "If I Loved You", 2014
- Carousel (1994 Broadway Revival Cast Recording) (1994)
- Ragtime (Original Cast Recording) (1998)
- I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky by John Adams (Studio Cast Recording) (1998)
- Wonderful Town (Berlin Cast Recording) (1999)
- Marie Christine (Original Cast Recording) (1999)
- Sweeney Todd Live at the New York Philharmonic (2000)
- Dreamgirls in Concert (2001 Concert Cast Recording) (released February 2002)
- Wonderful Town (Studio Recording) (2005)
- 110 in the Shade (2007 Broadway Revival Cast Recording) (2007)
- Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Concert Cast Recording) (2007)
- Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro (First Complete Recording) (2009)
- The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (New Broadway Cast Recording) (2012)
- Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2014)
- Audra McDonald – Live at the Donmar London, VHS (1999)
- My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies ("The Webber Love Trio"), DVD & CD (1999)
- Bernstein – Wonderful Town with Kim Criswell, Thomas Hampson, Wayne Marshall, Simon Rattle, and Berlin Philharmonic, DVD (2005)
- The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, DVD (2005)
- Weill – Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, DVD (2007)
- Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, Blu-ray DVD (2010)
- Alice Walker, By The Light of My Father's Smile (1998)
- Connie Briscoe, A Long Way From Home (1999)
- Rita Dove, Second-Hand Man (2003)
- Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things (2016)
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|1996||Seven Servants||Opera Singer|
|1998||The Object of My Affection||Wedding Singer|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||Blitzstein – "Joe Worker" Singer|
|2003||It Runs in the Family||Sarah Langley|
|2004||The Best Thief in the World||Ruth|
|2015||Ricki and the Flash||Maureen|
|2017||Beauty and the Beast||Madame de Garderobe|
|2017||Hello Again||Sally (The Actress)|
|2021||Respect||Barbara Siggers Franklin|
|1999||Annie||Grace Farrell||TV movie|
|Homicide: Life on the Street||Teresa Giardello||Episode: "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"|
|Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years||Bessie in her 20s||TV movie|
|2000||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Audrey Jackson||2 episodes|
|The Last Debate||Barbara Manning||TV movie|
|2003||Mister Sterling||Jackie Brock||9 episodes|
|Partners and Crime||Unknown||TV movie|
|Tea Time with Roy & Sylvia||Sylvia||Short|
|2005||Passion: Live From Lincoln Center||Clara||TV special|
|2006||The Bedford Diaries||Professor Carla Bonatelle||8 episodes|
|2006–07||Kidnapped||Jackie Hayes||3 episodes|
|2007–13||Private Practice||Dr. Naomi Bennett||77 episodes|
|2009||Grey's Anatomy||Episode: "Before and After"|
|2007||Great Performances||Jenny Smith||Episode: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny|
|2008||A Raisin in the Sun||Ruth Younger||TV movie|
|2009||She Got Problems||Herself||Short|
|2012–13||Sesame Street||Chicken||3 episodes|
|2013||The Good Wife||Liz Lawrence||Episode: "Runnin' with the Devil"|
|The Sound of Music Live!||Mother Abbess||Live telecast|
|Audra McDonald: Go Back Home||Self||Concert special|
|It Could Be Worse||Sharon||Episode: "Starring Veronica Bailey"|
|The Ordained||Anthea||TV movie|
|2014||Submissions Only||Tracy Mintzner||Episode: "Dangerous Anaesthesia"|
|Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street||Lucy, the Beggar Woman||Filmed Live from Lincoln Center stage production|
|2015||Doc McStuffins||Itty Bitty Bess (voice)||Episode: "Itty Bitty Bess Takes Flight"|
|2016||Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill||Billie Holiday||Filmed stage production|
|2018||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself (guest judge)||Season 10 Episode 7: "Snatch Game"|
|2018–19||BoJack Horseman||Mother Superior (voice)||2 episodes|
|2018–22||The Good Fight||Liz Lawrence-Reddick||Main cast|
|2020||American Experience||Additional voices||Episode: "The Vote"|
|Central Park||Ashley (voice)||Episode: "A Fish Called Snakehead"|
|Vampirina||Medusa (voice)||Episode: "Vee and the Family Stone/Twin Trouble"|
|2021||The Bite||Rachel Boutella||6 episodes|
|74th Tony Awards||Herself (host)||TV special|
|2022||The Gilded Age||Dorothy Scott||6 episodes|
Audra McDonald in Concert (2013–14)
23 concerts total; the gap between May and October 2013 is due to McDonald's work with television and her album coming out, causing the three and a half month gap. The tour ended due to McDonald's show, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill opening on Broadway, but she picked up again with a new tour once the show closed.
An Evening with Audra McDonald (2014–15)
37 concerts; this tour marked her Australian debut. The lack of August shows was due to her run in A Moon for the Misbegotten.
- 1999 – Audra McDonald: Live at the Donmar London (filmed for a DVD)
- February, 2002, Live with the Utah Symphony Abravenal Hall Salt Lake City, UT (part of the 2002 Olympics Arts Festival)
- June 2, 2004 – The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle at Carnegie Hall
- August 26, 2007 – Ravinia Festival
- March 28, 2008 – Savannah Music Festival
- March 30, 2008 – Ferst Center for the Arts
- April 26, 2008 – Stanley Theater
- May 30, 2008 – Zellerbach Hall
- February 1, 2010 – Ralph Freud Playhouse
- April 26, 2010 – Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
- July 18, 2010 – Ozawa Hall in Boston
- October 22, 2011 – Carnegie Hall
- November 8, 2011 – Curtis M Phillips Center for Performing Arts
- April 20, 2012 – New Jersey Performing Arts Center
- January 2, 2016 – Parker Playhouse
- January 17, 2016 – Leicester Square Theatre
- November 17, 2018 – Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI
- October 7–8, 2019 – Noorda Center for Performing Art at Utah Valley University, Orem, UT
Honors and achievements
On September 22, 2016, Audra McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama for 2015. The Award states, in part: "for lighting up Broadway as one of its brightest stars.... In musicals, concerts, operas, and the recording studio, her rich, soulful voice continues to take her audiences to new heights."
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- Stated on Finding Your Roots, April 27, 2021
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- Green, Blake. "Never Short of Breath", sfgate.com (originally in the San Francisco Chronicle), July 16, 2000
- "Alumni News: November 2011". Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
Audra McDonald (BM '93, voice)
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- "Casting Beyond Color Lines". NPR.org. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
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- Lee Spindle (February 12, 2007). "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny". Theater Mania.
- "Porgy and Bess Broadway", Playbill, (Vault), retrieved February 5, 2017
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- "New Podcast! POOF! by Lynn Nottage". Playing On Air (Podcast). August 10, 2015. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
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- Hetrick, Adam and Viagas, Robert. "Shuffle Along Sets July Broadway Closing", Playbill, June 23, 2016
- Viagas, Robert. "Shuffle Along Plays Final Broadway Performance Today", Playbill, July 24, 2016
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- "2021 Tony Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees". CBS. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
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- "Audra McDonald Wins 6th Tony Award Makes Broadway History" essence.com, June 8, 2014
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- Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald to Offer Concerts Throughout U.S.", playbill.com, April 8, 2008
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- Simonson, Robert and Gans, Andrew. "Doyle to Direct LuPone and McDonald in Mahagonny" Archived September 17, 2012, at archive.today, Playbill, January 16, 2006
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- Audra McDonald at IMDb
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- "IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY, 2003, Comedy/Drama". Rotten Tomatoes. 2003.
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- Gans, Andrew. "PBS to Broadcast Audra McDonald's New Year's Eve Concert", Playbill, November 29, 2006
- Lloyd, Robert (February 25, 2008). "A 'Raisin in the Sun' of many moons past". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- "List of Primetime Emmy Award 2008 Nominations and Winners". The New York Times. September 21, 2008. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- "The 39th NAACP Image Award Nominations". Variety. January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- Hetrick, Adam (May 14, 2013). "Audra McDonald's Go Back Home Concert Broadcast on "Live from Lincoln Center" May 24". Playbill. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- "Emmys 2015: the full list of winners". The Guardian. September 21, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- "Six By Sondheim Doc, With Performances by Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Debuts on HBO Dec. 9". Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
- Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle Join Cast of NBC's Sound of Music Archived December 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, Retrieved September 16, 2013
- 'Sound of Music Live!' with Carrie Underwood: NBC announces more cast, releases poster Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved September 16, 2013
- Billington, Michael (June 27, 2017). "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill review – Audra McDonald sings the blues for Billie Holiday". The Guardian. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- "Emmy Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. September 18, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- "The Complete List of the 2016 SAG Award Winners". Vogue. January 30, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- Kit, Borys (March 27, 2015). "Audra McDonald Joining Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- "Audra McDonald Joins 'The Good Fight' as Season 2 Regular". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- White, Peter (December 10, 2021). "Nicole Byer & Taye Diggs To Host Critics Choice TV Awards On The CW & TBS". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
- Fienberg, Daniel (May 20, 2021). "Spectrum's 'The Bite': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- Mayer, Dan. "Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. Will Host the 74th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 18, 2019). "'Respect': MGM Aretha Franklin Biopic Rounds Out Cast With Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige & More". Deadline. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- White, Peter (November 13, 2020). "'The Gilded Age': Audra McDonald & Broadway Stars Including Kelli O'Hara & Donna Murphy Join HBO's Julian Fellowes Drama". Deadline. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- Rudetsky, Seth. "How Audra McDonald Handled a Ringing Cell Phone in Character As Billie Holiday" Playbill, April 18, 2017
- "McDonald Sets Record Straight". BroadwayWorld News Desk. June 3, 2009.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Get Married" Archived October 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, October 7, 2012
- Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Welcome a Baby Girl", Playbill, October 20, 2016
- "Shuffle Along's Audra McDonald is Pregnant! Six-Time Tony Winner Postpones West End Debut in Lady Day". Broadway.com.
- Gisin, Matthew. "Three Westchester Natives Up For Tony Awards" Westchester Magazine, Retrieved October 2, 2014
- "Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells & More Host Voter Education Virtual Party". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
- "Who We Are". www.blacktheatreunited.com. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
- Blistein, Jon (October 18, 2018). "Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban Join Charity Record for Separated Families". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
- "Causes – The Official Website of Singer and Actress Audra McDonald". Retrieved October 21, 2020.
- Way Back to Paradise listing barnesandnoble.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
- Simonson, Robert. "Audra McDonald's How Glory Goes Released in Stores Feb. 22", Playbill, February 10, 2000
- McDonald record listing nonesuch.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
- "Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square: Featuring Audra McDonald and Peter Graves" Archived January 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine mormontabernaclechoir.org, retrieved January 8, 2010
- Jule Styne in Hollywood listing Archived March 22, 2017, at the Wayback Machine footlight.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
- McDonald listing masterworksbroadway.com, retrieved January 8, 2010
- "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky", listing nonesuch.com, accessed August 15, 2009
- Suskin, Steven. "On the Record: Dazzling Dreamgirls and 1943 Show Tunes", playbill.com, March 10, 2002
- Hetrick, Adam and Gans, Andrew. "Complete Allegro Recording, with McDonald, Gunn and Wilson, to Arrive In Stores Feb. 3" Archived May 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, December 8, 2008
- Porgy and Bess Archived May 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, 2012
- Audra McDonald Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill Original Broadway Cast Recording, retrieved July 17, 2014.
- Getting There from Here: Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine isbndb.com, accessed August 15, 2009
- Rudolph, Christopher (July 18, 2018). "Shania Twain, "Broad City" Stars And More Join The Judges' Panel On "Drag Race" Season 10". NewNowNext.com. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Audra McDonald at the Internet Broadway Database
- Gans, Andrew. "Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Are Expecting a Baby", Playbill, May 10, 2016.
- Marshall, Charlotte. "Audra McDonald's 'Lady Day' Postponed", officiallondontheatre.co.uk, May 11, 2016.
- "Ohio State Murders". Playbill. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
- As part of Audra McDonald: Go Back Home, which aired on Live from Lincoln Center
- "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
- "Audra McDonald Biography Photo".
Golden Plate Awards Council member General Colin L. Powell, presents Audra McDonald with the Gold Medal of the American Academy of Achievement in a 2012 ceremony at the Academy's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- Dwyer, Colin. "At White House, A Golden Moment For America's Great Artists And Patrons" npr.org, September 22, 2016
- Audra McDonald at IMG Artists
- Audra McDonald Biography and Interview on American Academy of Achievement
- Audra McDonald at the Internet Broadway Database
- Audra McDonald at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Audra McDonald at IMDb
- Audra McDonald at Playbill Vault
- Audra McDonald at Nonesuch Records
- Audra McDonald – Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org
- Audra McDonald's February 5, 2007 interview on the Tavis Smiley Show (TV Interview)
- Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway, interview on Fresh Air (29 mins, 2012)