VIDEO: Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell Reunite On RAGTIME Duet

By: Jan. 25, 2019
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Twenty years after they first performed the roles, Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell re-united to sing "Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime LIVE at the Kennedy Center at the et Freedom Ring! concert in collaboration with Georgetown University on January 21st, 2019. Check out the video!

"Let Freedom Ring!," part of the free daily performance series on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, features Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy®-winning artist Audra McDonald and Two- time Tony®-winning artist Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr.

Audra McDonald earned an unprecedented three Tony Awards before the age of 30 (Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime) and a fourth in 2004 (A Raisin in the Sun). McDonald is frequently compared to legendary performers such as Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. But like all great artists, she is a unique force, blending a luscious, classically-trained soprano with an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling. In addition to her theatrical work she maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist appearing regularly on many of the great stages of the world.

Audra McDonald opens the 2008-2009 season of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with a gala concert at Disney Hall, celebrating Esa-Pekka Salonen's final season as music director. Returning to ABC in the fall of 2008, Ms. McDonald can be seen as Dr. Naomi Bennett in the second season of the hit television series Private Practice. Earlier in the year she earned an Emmy nomination for her role in the made-for-television movie version of A Raisin in the Sun on ABC, alongside hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs. Her most recent recordings are Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, nominated for two 2009 Grammy Awards, and a new studio recording of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro, released on the Sony MasterWorks Broadway label in February 2009.

Dubbed "The Last Leading Man" by The New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell is the quintessential musical theatre performer, yet his work on the big and small screens as well as in concert halls around the country has been equally acclaimed. Stokes' performances as a solo vocalist have been praised by critics nationwide with sold-out performances at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, Ravinia and Symphony Hall. His musical versatility and thrilling voice-an instrument The New York Times says "rumbles out of him like thunder underlined by drum rolls"-has kept him in demand by some of the country's finest conductors and orchestras. Most recently, Stokes took to the famed stage at Carnegie Hall for his solo debut, a sold-out evening with a forty-two piece orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani. Joining him for select numbers were some of his past leading ladies including Reba McEntire, Heather Headley and Phylicia Rashad. It may be on the Broadway stage, however, where Brian Stokes Mitchell has received the most adulation, including Broadway's highest honor, the Tony Award. Stokes was most recently on Broadway in the revival of Man of La Mancha, portraying the dual roles of Cervantes and Don Quixote and earning a Tony nomination and a Helen Hayes Award for his work. It was the revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate-in the roles of Fred Graham and Petruchio-that earned him Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He was also Tony-nominated for his performance as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in the epic musical Ragtime, and for his dramatic turn as the title character in August Wilson's Tony nominated play King Hedley II. His other Broadway outings include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly's Last Jam (replacing Gregory Hines), David Merrick's Oh, Kay! and Mail, which earned him a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. In 1998, he joined the likes of Helen Hayes, Sir John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones when he became the sole recipient of the Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award, the nation's oldest theatrical honor, for his commanding turn in Ragtime.