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Audra McDonald Wins Best Lead Actress in a Musical for PORGY & BESS

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Audra McDonald is the recipient of this year's Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her role of 'Bess' in THE GERSWIN's PORGY AND BESS. The award marks McDonald's fifth Tony award win.

The actress earned three Tony Awards by the age of 28 — for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime. 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. She reprised her Raisin role for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. Her first Emmy nod came in 2001 for her performance in HBOs Wit. Fans of the small screen also regognize McDonald from her work on ABC's Private Practice.

THE GERSHWIN's PORGY AND BESS, starring McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier, opened at the Richard Rodger's Theatre on Broadway on January 12, 2012.

The cast also includes Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Christopher Innvar as Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena and NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mariah as well as Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.

The classic story by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward is set in Charleston's fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess' relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater's most exhilarating love stories.

Following its sold-out world premiere engagement at Boston's American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), the creative team, led by Tony-nominated director Diane Paulus (Hair), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man), now brings George and Ira Gershwin's legendary masterwork to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than 35 years. The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer ESosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind and sound.

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