This Monday, Audra will be the honoree at The Drama League’s 29th Musical Celebration of Broadway at Manhattan’s famed Pierre Hotel. The black-tie gala supports The Drama League’s educational initiatives for promising young artists. This past May Audra received the Drama League’s 2012 Distinguished Performance Award for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. “Audra McDonald, in my view, is the once-in-a-generation performer of our time,” Drama League executive director Gabriel Shanks said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor her achievements in film, television, recording, and in the theater.”
The gala, featuring dozens of stars from Hollywood and Broadway in a one-night-only evening of musical selections drawn from Audra’s career, will be hosted by Broadway, TV and Film stars Taye Diggs (Rent, ABC’s “Private Practice”) and Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show,” A Raisin in the Sun). Performers include Tony Award winners Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patti LuPone, Zoe Caldwell, Steve Kazee, Nikki M. James, Anthony Crivello, Broadway veterans David Alan Grier, Victor Garber, Norm Lewis, Mary Testa, Tony Sheldon, Michael Arden, Seth Rudetsky, Nikki Renee Daniels, Valisia Lekae, and New York State Senator Tom Duane (all subject to change and availability). The production is directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime) with musical direction by David Evans (Marie Christine) and produced by Mr. Danforth.