A spokesperson for the production confirmed that McDonald will play Lady Percy in the upcoming revival at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The cast also includes the previously announced Ethan Hawke as Hotspur, Kevin Kline as Falstaff, Billy Crudup as Prince Hall, Richard Easton as King Henry. Dana Ivey will play both Mistress Quickly and Lady Northumberland in the ambitious production, which melds Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 (both circa 1597) into one four-hour experience. Recent Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien will direct. The works focus on the familial, royal and political conflicts surrounding Henry Bolingbroke, the king, who usurped the crown from Richard II (all detailed in Shakespeare's Richard II). Prince Hal, the king's son, is callow and hangs out with a group of jolly reprobates led by Falstaff, while privately vowing to himself that he will one day mend his ways and assume the throne. Meanwhile, that throne is beset upon from all sides. The greatest threat comes from Henry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, and known as Hotspur. He joins forces with leaders in Scotland and Wales in a rash attempt to unseat Henry. The conflict eventually leads to a battle to the death between Hal and Hotspur.
A Tony Award winner for her work in Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was most recently on Broadway in the title role of Marie Christine. The singer-actress recently made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. This summer, she will star with Patti LuPone in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Passion at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. On June 16, she appears in a private industry reading of Skin of Our Teeth, the Musical.