Audra McDonald Brings Broadway to PBS

Audra McDonald at the London Palladium Now Streaming on PBS.

By: Jun. 10, 2024
Audra McDonald Brings Broadway to PBS
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Broadway fans in New York and across the country are in luck this spring: They can see six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald featured in Great Performances’ “Broadway’s Best” lineup on New York City's own PBS station, THIRTEEN. The legendary performer joins Broadway and Beyond, a special collection of Broadway and other theater and arts programming premiering on-air, online, and on YouTube through June. Curated especially for theater lovers, the line-up raises the curtain with Great Performances’ “Broadway’s Best” and includes programs from ALL ARTS, American Masters, and more.

McDonald is likely one of the most-seen Broadway stars of her generation. That's not counting her roles in dramatic series like "The Gilded Age,” The Good Fight" and "Private Practice," but the nearly three decades of televised PBS performances in which she has shared her acclaimed musical talent beyond the balcony seats of Broadway and West End theaters.

No need to rifle through your "Playbills" to recall all six of McDonald's Tony Awards: they were for her roles in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. That's more Tony wins than anyone in Broadway history, and McDonald is the first performer to win in four acting categories.

This year’s "Broadway's Best" continues the relationship between Audra McDonald and PBS viewers that has grown through her appearances in Great Performances, Live from Lincoln Center and other PBS specials and episodes. Her engagement with public television began as a child when she saw life's possibilities in its performing arts programs. McDonald was born in 1970, when variety shows and musical broadcasts started to leave the commercial networks' lineup. In 1972, Great Performances debuted on PBS to continue public access to excellence in entertainment.

Imagine all the young people who have watched McDonald from their homes and devices, inspired by her virtuoso performances and warmth, going all the way back to Great Performances – Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II in 1995, when she was fresh off her first Tony win for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel (1994).

Now streaming on and the PBS app, Great Performances: Audra McDonald at the London Palladium is all about classic Broadway songs and Audra, backed by a 40-piece orchestra. The numbers include “I Am What I Am,” “Summertime,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and she warmly shares funny asides and personal stories. Additionally, McDonald performs with fellow Broadway icons who celebrate the compositions of a legendary songwriting duo in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 80th Anniversary: My Favorite Things.

Check out previews for Great Performances: Audra McDonald at the London Palladium, Great Performances: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 80th Anniversary: My Favorite Things and so much more in THIRTEEN’s Broadway and Beyond collection at