It's official: Audra McDonald will star in Michael John LaChiusa's new musical Marie Christine , set to play at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center Theater in fall 1999. A Lincoln Center Theater spokesman said previews will begin in mid-Oct. with an opening in November. That the three-time Tony winner should appear in the show is only natural. According to Charles Koppelman, La Chiusa's agent, the lead role was written with McDonald in mind. Though McDonald has been a star in the New York theater world for some time now, this will represent her first time she has been asked to carry a Broadway musical on her own.
The omnipresent McDonald most recently starred as Sarah in Ragtime , for which she won her third Tony (the previous two were for Master Class and Carousel ). She has also recently been making the rounds in the concert world, participating in a George Gershwin tribute at Carnegie Hall and performing at Town Hall and in the newly-opened Joe's Pub at the Public Theater.
LaChiusa, who earned a cult following with his Hello Again Off- Broadway and Chronicle of a Death Foretold on Broadway, is again collaborating with director-choreographer Graciela (Ragtime) Daniele on Marie Christine, which is described as "a quasi-operatic version of Medea, set in 1880s New Orleans and Chicago."