On June 19 at 7:30 PM Cook and McDonald will be the featured performers for the Paper Mill Playhouse's gala benefit event, which is simply titled Barbara Cook and Audra McDonald in Concert. The evening will include a pre-show garden party, the concert and a post-show dessert reception with the artists. Performance-only tickets are also available.
About the upcoming concert, Paper Mill President and CEO Michael Gennaro said in a statement, "With our long legacy of being a creator and caretaker of the American Musical Theatre art form, it is an honor to bring to our stage two of Broadway's undisputed superstars. This once-in-a-lifetime event will not only benefit Paper Mill Playhouse today, but provide the financial support needed to carry on this legacy for future generations."
Barbara Cook has starred on Broadway in Flahooley, Candide, The Gay Life, The Music Man and She Loves Me. She received a Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man, and her one-woman show, Mostly Sondheim, was nominated for a Tony in the Best Special Theatrical Event category. Cook was most recently on the New York stage in Barbara Cook's Broadway. Both Mostly Sondheim and Barbara Cook's Broadway were recorded for DRG. Cook recently made her solo debut at the Metropolitan Opera, which is due on CD in June.
A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also seen on Broadway in Henry IV. The singer-actress 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. The acclaimed actress also co-starred in the NBC series "Mister Sterling” and can currently be seen in the WB series "Bedford Diaries." McDonald also made her Houston Grand Opera with a double bill of Send (who are you? I love you) and La Voix Humaine.
Benefit packages are priced $175-$500 and may be purchased by calling Felicia Lipchik Gell at (973) 379-3636, ext. 2547. Performance-only tickets, priced $75-$150, are available by calling (973) 376-4343 or by visiting www.papermill.org. The Paper Mill Playhouse is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ.