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Audra to Appear in Aretha Franklin Biopic

Audra McDonald returns to the big screen, where she stars as Aretha Franklin’s mother in the upcoming biopic Respect. The film, which is scheduled to hit theaters in August 2020, also features Jennifer Hudson as Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Forest Whitaker as Franklin’s father, and Mary J. Blige as fellow legend Dinah Washington. The award-winning cast will be directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, and will feature many of the songs that catapulted Franklin to stardom including “Respect,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Think.”

Fall Concert Tour

After a summer on Broadway, Audra McDonald begins a fall concert tour this September. Traveling with her trio—Andy Einhorn (piano/conductor), Gene Lewin (drums), and Mark Vanderpoel (bass)—Audra performs her trademark mix of songs from American musical theater in Iowa City, IO; Fairfax, VA; Worcester, MA; and Orem, UT.

Along the way, Audra also headlines select special events: a concert with Seth Rudetsky at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre (September 15), the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season-opening gala with Yannick Nézet-Séguin (September 18), the Lansing Symphony Orchestra in their 90th season-opening night with Mo. Timothy Muffitt (September 21),  and the annual benefit for The Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Augusta, GA (October 13).

For a full list of Audra’s performances, click here.

Covenant House Sleep Out

On August 19, Audra participated in Covenant House’s Sleep Out: Stage & Screen along with over 100 members of the Broadway and film communities. This is Audra’s sixth time sleeping outside on the streets of New York as an act of solidarity with the 4.2 million youths who experience homelessness each year. Audra, who has served on the Covenant House board since 2014, spent the evening participating in breakout sessions, a song circle, and other programs, getting to know young people whom Covenant House has helped. She was joined by her daughter Zoe—along with stars such as Rachel Brosnahan and Zachary Levi—for the second part of the event: a night spent sleeping on the street. The Sleep Out doubles as a fundraiser; in total, Monday night’s Sleep Out raised nearly $400,000 to combat youth homelessness.

2019 Sleep Out Campaign

Audra McDonald lends her support to Covenant House International’s annual Sleep Out. On Monday, August 19, she and other members of the stage and screen community will sleep out on the streets of New York City as an act of solidarity with the 4.2 million youth who experience homelessness each year. A board member of the organization since 2014, Audra describes the Sleep Out as “a life-changing, life-affirming event” that genuinely touches the young people affected by homelessness.
In advance of the event, Audra is raising funds for the youth of Covenant House International. To learn more about the organization and how to contribute, click here.

Final Weeks of Frankie & Johnny

Hailed as “a modern classic and a testament to human connection” (Deadline), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune announces its final performance on Broadway. The upcoming shows celebrate the artistic achievements of playwright Terrence McNally, recipient of the 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, director Arin Arbus in her Broadway debut, and stars Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon in their first collaboration. McDonald and Shannon’s moving portrayal of the seemingly mismatched Frankie and Johnny, cheered as “two of the best performances on Broadway” by The Daily Beast, can be seen at the Broadhurst Theatre until Sunday, July 28. As the first production of Broadway’s 2019-2020 season, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune will have played 70 regular and 26 preview performances upon closing. Click here for tickets.

Labor Day Weekend Concerts with Seth Rudetsky

Over Labor Day Weekend, Audra joins Sirius XM Radio Star and longtime friend Seth Rudetsky in Massachusetts for three evenings of sensational songs and conversation. Audra and Seth’s collaborations often center around philanthropic efforts: their recent Broadway @ Town Hall concert series raised funds for Sandy Hook Promise, Audra was featured on a recording co-produced by Seth and his husband James Wesley to raise money for the Orlando shooting victims (“What The World Needs Now”), and she also performed in a benefit entitled Concert For America presented by Seth and James’s foundation, Your Kids, Our Kids.

Click here for tickets and more details on these upcoming performances.