Tony Award-Winner Audra McDonald to Bring Broadway Talent to UCA

Five-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald will bring Broadway musical hits to the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall stage at the University of Central Arkansas.

The 90-minute performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, is part of UCA Public Appearances’ Broadway Series.

McDonald shares the record for most Tony Awards by an actor with Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury, according to audramcdonald.net. She received three Tony Awards by the age of 28 for her performances in “Carousel,” “Master Class” and “Ragtime.”

Amanda Horton, director of UCA Public Appearances, said McDonald would bring a strong theatrical composition and be accompanied on stage by a three-piece band.

“The most unique quality is her amazing voice,” Horton said. “She is such a talented vocalist.”

In 2012, McDonald starred as Bess in the musical “Porgy and Bess,” winning a Tony Award for her role as leading actress.

She will appear in an NBC live special, “The Sound of Music Live!” on Dec. 5 as Mother Abbess. The production is a staging of the original Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

McDonald made her Broadway debut as a replacement in “The Secret Garden” while attending the Juilliard School in 1992. Her first starring role on Broadway was in “Marie Christine” as the title character.

On television, McDonald starred as Dr. Naomi Bennett in “Private Practice,” an ABC drama series depicting life at a medical practice in California that ran from 2007-2013.

Throughout her career, McDonald has won 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.

She has also won two Grammy Awards for Opera Recording and Best Classical Album.

“Go Back Home,” McDonald’s first album in seven years and released in May, features songs by composers she has been associated with such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Guettel and LaChiusa.

PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” series aired “Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home,” featuring a 35-piece orchestra earlier this year.

Horton said she was excited that McDonald would appear at UCA on a Saturday night.

“People will be off work and can have a date night or girls night out,” she said. “It’s perfect timing.”

Tickets, available at the UCA Ticket Central Box Office, are $30-$40 for adults, $27-$37 for senior citizens, $25-$35 for UCA alumni, $23-$33 for UCA faculty and staff, $10 for UCA students with a current student ID and children.  For tickets, call 450-3265 or toll free from anywhere in Arkansas at 1-866-810-0012 or visit www.uca.edu/tickets.

For more information, contact Horton at (501) 450-3682; ahorton@uca.edu.

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Communication, Mass Communication and Theatre, Music and Writing. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visit www.uca.edu/cfac or call (501) 450-3293.