Audra McDonald to Headline Benefit for The Foundation at Saint Joseph's Arts Society
Design impresario Ken Fulk and theatre producer Mark Cortale have announced that they will present Heavenly Bodies, a special event benefiting The Foundation at Saint Joseph's Arts Society in San Francisco, starring historic six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald on Friday, November 1 at 7:30 PM. The evening will feature a special concert by McDonald accompanied by a trio music directed by Andy Einhorn and followed by what is promised to be "The After Party of the Year." The party will include both an open-air bistro from legendary San Francisco eatery Tosca and a disco under the dome. For ticket levels and event information, please visit www.eventbrite.com/e/heavenly-bodies-starring-audra-mcdonald-tickets-74855202927
Audra McDonald, most recently starred on Broadway with Michael Shannon in the revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (NYTimes Critics' Pick), 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. In the 2014 Broadway season, 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. As the host of the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center, she won her first Primetime Emmy Award in 2015. That same year she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts - America's highest honor for achievement in the arts - from President Barack Obama. In 2018, she joined the cast of The Good Fight for the second season of the CBS All Access original drama series. 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 returned to the Broadway stage in 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. On the concert stage, she has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, and internationally with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic. Of Audra McDonald's many roles, she notes that her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.
The mission of The Foundation at Saint Joseph's Arts Society is to promote the relevancy of art and artists in our daily lives by showcasing an intriguing roster of arts programming. In its first year, the Foundation at Saint Joseph's Arts Society has established itself as a unique, multi-disciplinary cultural organization dedicated to bringing artists and new audiences together for intimate, immersive experiences. Contributions to the Foundation at Saint Joseph's Arts Society, which is fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts, are dedicated to promoting arts education, programming and residencies that support the creation, presentation and promotion of compelling art of all media and disciplines.
Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi