Six-Time Tony Winner Audra McDonald to Take the Stage in New Orleans

Six-Time Tony Winner Audra McDonald to Take the Stage in New Orleans

Record-breaking, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to New Orleans for Broadway @ NOCCA on March 31, 2017 as a benefit for the The NOCCA Institute.

The Broadway legend will be joined on stage by series host & pianist Seth Rudetsky, who this past November starred in the five-star London premiere of his Broadway musical "Disaster!" The performance will also include a special guest appearance by McDonald's husband, Will Swenson, the Tony nominated star of "Hair" and "Pricilla, Queen of the Desert", and is produced by Mark Cortale.

The format of the evening will be a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories from one of Broadway's biggest stars - prompted by Rudetsky's probing, funny, revealing questions - and Audra singing some of the biggest hits from her musical theatre repertoire. This is a spontaneous evening of hilarity and show-stopping songs not to be missed.

The evening is sponsored by the New Orleans Hotel Collection. For tickets and information, visit or call 800-838-3006.


Mark Cortale Presents

Broadway @ NOCCA

Audra McDonald

with special guests Will Swenson

and Seth Rudetsky as pianist & host

Friday, March 31 @ 8:00 PM

A Benefit for The NOCCA Institute

NOCCA. 2800 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA

For tickets, visit or call 800-838-3006

Audra McDonald holds the record for more Tony Best Performance wins than any other actor in history, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in "Carousel," "Master Class," and "Ragtime," placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun," a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway's "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess" thus tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. This past June she made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her role as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill." She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the US. Audra's many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in "Private Practice," as well as "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Law & Order: SVU," "Having Our Say," "Mister Sterling," "The Bedford Diaries," "Kidnapped," the TV remake of the musical "Annie," and HBO's "Wit" with Emma Thompson and more recently as a cast member of "The Good Wife." In December 2013 Audra won critical acclaim for her performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC's live telecast of "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood. Her film roles include "Cradle Will Rock," "Object of My Affection," "It Runs in the Family," "Best Thief in the World," and "Seven Servants." Ms. McDonald just returned to the Broadway stage this spring and summer of 2016 with director George C. Wolfe and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover in the musical "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed," a new retelling of an original musical by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Audra McDonald married Will Swenson in 2012, and this past October they became new parents to a baby girl.

Will Swenson received a Tony nomination for the revival of "Hair" and has also appeared on Broadway in "Lestat," "110 in the Shade," "Brooklyn" and most recently in the hit musical comedy "Disaster!" Off-Broadway, he played the role of Stacee Jaxx in the musical "Rock of Ages" (but didn't perform the role on Broadway because he was offered the starring role of Berger in the Broadway revival of "Hair"). He has been seen as Sir Sagramore in "Camelot" at Lincoln Center and as Chris in the second national tour of "Miss Saigon." He has a long relationship with the musical "Hair", first played the role of Berger in the Off-Broadway 40th Anniversary Concert of Hair opposite Karen Olivo. Next, in 2008, Swenson was again cast as Berger in The Public Theater's revival of the show in Central Park. He then went on to reprise the role when the production moved to Broadway in March 2009, for which he received critical acclaim and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. Not finished yet - he played the role of Berger again in the West End revival of Hair which began performances in spring of 2010. Swenson also appeared as in the guest cameo slot for the extension performance of Katie Thompson's "R.R.R.E.D.: A Secret Musical," in the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival. He also starred in the North American company of "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." In October 2013, Swenson was cast as Inspector Javert in the 2014 Broadway revival of "LES MISERABLES", which opened in March 2014 at New York's Imperial Theatre, where the musical had previously run for 13 years.

Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's "On Broadway" as well as the host of Seth Speaks on Sirius/XM Stars. As a pianist, Seth has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows including "Ragtime," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera". He was the Artistic Producer/Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including "Dreamgirls" with Audra McDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and "Hair" with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlight Records, Grammy Nomination). In 2007 he made his Broadway acting debut playing Sheldon (singing "Magic to Do" in a devastating unitard) in "The Ritz" directed by Joe Mantello for The Roundabout Theater. As an author, he penned the non-fiction "Q Guide to Broadway," the novel "Broadway Nights" and the recently published "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan" (Random House). Seth played himself on "Kathy Griffin; My Life on the D-List," was the vocal coach on MTV's "Legally Blonde" reality show and starred opposite Sutton Foster in "They're Playing Our Song" for the Actors Fund. He co-wrote and starred in "Disaster!" (which the NY Times called a "triumph") this past season on Broadway. "Disaster!" also premiered to rave reviews in London's West End in November. Seth writes a weekly column on and tours the country with this Broadway concert series and performing his one-man show "Deconstructing Broadway". For more information visit

Founded in 1973, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is Louisiana's arts conservatory for high school students. NOCCA offers intensive instruction in Classical Music, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drama, Jazz, Media Arts, Musical Theatre, Theatre Design, Vocal Music, Visual Arts, and academics. Students come from across Louisiana, attending via full-day, afternoon, and after-school sessions. Admission to NOCCA is by audition, and there is no tuition.

The NOCCA Institute is NOCCA's nonprofit partner, providing supplemental funding for NOCCA and advocacy for its world-class program. Some of the Institute's more notable endeavors include: a comprehensive Financial Aid Program that funds students' supplies and fees associated with important summer training programs across the country; an Artists-in-Residence Program that brings more than 100 professional visiting artists into NOCCA's classrooms each year; the capital campaign for NOCCA's current home and expansion projects along the Press Street corridor, including Press Street Station, 5 Press Gallery, and Press Street Gardens; and concert, gallery, and literary events for the community. The Institute also oversees rentals of the NOCCA campus, making it available to arts organizations, individuals, corporations, and other groups.

The Art House in Provincetown, MA, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Mark Cortale, is the original home to the internationally acclaimed Broadway @ The Art House series hosted by Seth Rudetsky. In its sixth season this past summer, the series presented Broadway superstars like Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LuPone, Matthew Morrison, Cheyenne Jackson, Megan Hilty and Vanessa Williams. The Broadway @ series premiered in 2013 in New Orleans, in Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) with Megan Mullally and in London's West End with Patti LuPone at the Leicester Square Theater. The series has travelled to Fort Lauderdale (The Broward Center), Philadelphia (The Kimmel Center), San Francisco (The Nourse Theatre) and launched this month in Arizona with Audra McDonald (Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts). More information at

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