Live From Lincoln Center Airs 'Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home' on PBS, 5/24
Live From Lincoln Center's season finale features series host Audra McDonald taking center stage at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with "Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home." At this special gala concert, the five-time Tony Award winner shines a light on her favorite music, including songs from a wide range of musical theater composers featured on her highly anticipated new recording, Go Back Home (Nonesuch), her first solo album in seven years. "Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home" airs on PBS stations on Friday, May 24 at 9 p.m. (ET) (check local listings).
Many of the selections on McDonald's new album Go Back Home are by composers with whom she has long been associated (Guettel, LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim, among others), while some songs, including the Kander and Ebb title track, are by names that are relatively new to her repertoire. In addition, McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented on this recording by Adam Gwon, Heisler and Goldrich, and Will Reynolds. The album was produced by Doug Petty, who also produced McDonald's 2006 release Build a Bridge; musical director Andy Einhorn conducted the ensemble. Go Back Home is released on May 21, 2013 and available for pre-order at nonesuch.com.
Audra McDonald, whose voice Stephen Sondheim has hailed as "one of the glories of the American theater," is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress. Born into a musical family, McDonald grew up in Fresno, California, where as a child she began singing in her local Community theater (her first audition piece was Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Edelweiss," which she has recorded for Go Back Home). A year after graduating from The Juilliard School, she won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel. She won two additional Tonys in that category, for Terrence McNally's play Master Class (1996) and his musical Ragtime (1998), earning her an unprecedented three Tony Awards before the age of 30. In 2004 she won her fourth, for A Raisin in the Sun, and in 2012 she won her fifth Tony and her first in the leading actress category for her role in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury are the only other people to have won five performance Tony Awards).
McDonald also received two Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album for Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with LA Opera, among other accolades and awards. A familiar face on PBS, McDonald has been featured as performer and headliner on several telecasts, including the recent PBS television special "A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House," singing at the request of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
"Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home" is being recorded live-to-tape from a concert on May 9 and is the final broadcast in a Winter/Spring season that has featured six broadcasts since January. Previous episodes have included a special tribute to Kander & Ebb with Rob Fisher, creative director and musical host, and Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley and special guests Joel Grey and Chita Rivera; Kristin Chenoweth's tribute to Broadway's great leading ladies and sidekick scene stealers; Josh Groban and songs from his new album All That Echoes; Stephanie Blythe's tribute to the wartime era songs of Kate Smith; and New York Philharmonic's staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical Carousel starring Kelli O'Hara and Nathan Gunn.
Live From Lincoln Center is in its 38th broadcast season. The series has received 13 Emmy Awards to date. Live From Lincoln Center has Made the world's greatest artists on Lincoln Center's renowned stages accessible to home viewers in virtually every corner of the United States.Andrew C. Wilk is the series executive producer, and director of this Live From Lincoln Center episode. . Lincoln Center's Chief Media and Digital Officer, Elizabeth W. Scott, is the executive in charge of the series' production.