Audra McDonald Begins National Concert Tour in Columbus, March 4

News   Audra McDonald Begins National Concert Tour in Columbus, March 4 Actress-singer Audra McDonald will kick off a U.S. tour in support of her new album, "How Glory Goes," in Columbus, OH, on March 4. The tour will run through May 14. Stops include a stint with the Atlanta Symphony, in which McDonald will sing Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, and a turn in the New York Philharmonic concert production of Sweeney Todd, May 1-7.

Audra McDonald.
Audra McDonald.

Actress-singer Audra McDonald will kick off a U.S. tour in support of her new album, "How Glory Goes," in Columbus, OH, on March 4. The tour will run through May 14. Stops include a stint with the Atlanta Symphony, in which McDonald will sing Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, and a turn in the New York Philharmonic concert production of Sweeney Todd, May 1-7.

"How Glory Goes" reached stores Feb. 29.

A spokesman at Columbus' Palace Theater said that tickets are still available in the mezzanine and balcony, though orchestra seats for the 8 PM concert are gone. Tickets range $28.50-$32.50.

The tour runs as follows:

• March 4: Columbus, OH, Palace Theater
• March 5: Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan
• March 11: Irvine, CA, University of California
• March 12: Fresno, CA, Saroyan Theater
• March 18: Princeton, NJ, McCarter Theater
• March 19: Newark, NJ, NJPAC
• April 25-29: Atlanta, Atlanta Symphony, Seven Deadly Sins
• May 1-7: New York City, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, Sweeney Todd
• May 12: Boston, Harvard University, Sanders Theater
• May 14: George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium *

The new album, featuring liner notes by former New York Times chief theatre critic Frank Rich, is a collection of new theatre songs and old standards. The mixture is a marked departure from her debut recording, "Way Back to Paradise," which was entirely given over to young, rising composers such as Michael John LaChiusa, Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown.

Guettel is the only one of those tunesmiths to make a return appearance on the new CD. He penned the title tune, "How Glory Goes" (from Floyd Collins) and co-wrote "Was That You?" Also on the CD will be "Lay Down Your Head," a selection from the musical Violet by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crowley, two other representatives of the so-called "new theatre music."

For much of the album, however, McDonald tries her hand at some of the classic musical composers. Harold Arlen is particularly well represented. McDonald sings Arlen's "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" and "I Had Myself a True Love," both from St. Louis Woman; "I Never Has Seen Snow" and "A Sleepin' Bee," both from House of Flowers; and "The Man That Got Away" from the Judy Garland film version of "A Star Is Born."

Reportedly, McDonald has spotlighted Arlen in recent concerts, commenting that, though she doesn't normally care for singing standards, she makes an exception for the composer.

McDonald also sings numbers from Fiorello ("When Did I Fall in Love"), West Side Story ("Somewhere") and Show Boat ("Bill").

Following is the complete song list:

"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (Arlen-Mercer)
"Bill" (Kern-Wodehouse-Hammerstein)
"I Had Myself a True Love" (Arlen-Mercer)
"I Hid My Love" (Marzullo, poem by J. Clare)
"Was That You?" (Guettel-Robbins)
"I Won't Mind" (Blumenkrantz-Kessler-Saines)
"A Sleepin' Bee" (Arlen-Capote)
"Come Down from the Tree" (Flaherty-Ahrens)
"I Never Has Seen Snow" (Arlen-Capote)
"When Did I Fall in Love" (Bock-Harnick)
"The Man That Got Away" (Arlen-Gershwin)
"Somewhere" (Bernstein-Sondheim)
"How Glory Goes" (Guettel)
"Lay Down Your Head" (Tesori-Crawley).

"Way Back to Paradise" was a surprise hit for Nonesuch Records, selling more than 30,000 copies. McDonald is currently starring in the Broadway musical Marie Christine.

-- By Robert Simonson