Actress-singer McDonald, whose concert tour in support of her album "How Glory Goes," began on March 4 in Columbus, will continue her criss crossing of the nation with a stop at the Ravinia Festival, north of Chicago. The tour lasts through December, ending up in Los Angeles.
Ravinia is a open-air venue, familiar to Chicago music patrons. While the auditorium, situated amid a verdant stretch of land, seats several hundred people, many concertgoers prefer to buy tickets for the adjoining lawn. There, they lay out a picnic and eat and drink while listening to the music.
The remaining tour runs as follows:
• Aug. 16: Chicago, IL, Ravinia Festival
• Sept. 27-30: Washington, DC
• Oct. 7: Atlanta, GA
• Oct. 14: Hershey, PA
• Oct. 21: Los Angeles, CA
• Oct. 22: San Diego, CA
• Oct. 28: Fort Worth, TX
• Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Los Angeles, CA
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.
Following is the complete song list:
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (Arlen-Mercer)
"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)
"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 in one month. "How Glory Goes" has surpassed that achievement, selling over 100,000 units total.