TV: Banner Year for Two Beloved African-American Broadway Stars - Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis Honored by ABC News
Last night, on ABC World News, Audra McDonald marked the second African-American Broadway actor to be featured as a PERSON OF THE WEEK on the popular telecast this year. The program is hosted by Diane Sawyer, who soon leaves that chair to 'create innovative specials' for the network. On the broadcast, McDonald discussed how she prepares to become Billie Holiday each night, as she continues to strive bettering her 'Lady Day' for every performance. This production, directed by Lonny Price, earned her the distinction of being the only actress in history to receive a record 6th Tony Award earlier this year.
PS Classics' Original Broadway Cast Recording of Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (in its entirety on two discs) features the performance of Ms. McDonald and topped four of the Billboard Charts in its first week of release: #1 in Cast Albums, #1 in Jazz, #1 in Traditional Jazz and #1 in Heatseekers. According to Billboard, the album is McDonald's highest-charting solo release ever.
Earlier this year, McDonald's former PORGY & BESS co-star, Norm Lewis, was selected as the 'Person of the Week', as he prepared to take on the role of The Phantom in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, now in its 26th year. Lewis has the distinction of being the first African-American performer to star in the leading role of The Phantom in the Broadway production. The distinction was made clear, as Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Los Angeles production.
Below, click to watch Audra and Norm receive their well deserved kudos from Diane Sawyer and ABC News.
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