|Photo by Michael J. Lutch|
Four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald deservedly added a fifth award to her mantel June 10 for her breathtaking performance in the Tony-winning revival of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. The acclaimed singing actress, who also won Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk awards for her work as the ill-fated Bess, had already nabbed Broadway's highest honor for her standout performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun; however, her latest acknowledgment was her first in the category of Best Leading Actress in a Musical. McDonald's dramatic take on the drug-addicted Bess was often gut-wrenching, and her soaring duet with co-star Norm Lewis on the Gershwin classic "I Loves You, Porgy" was one of the season's most memorable moments.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
In the revival of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell, Lindsay Mendez impressed with her rangy alto, but in the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight — featuring a score by A Christmas Story's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — the young artist had the chance to display her range as an actress. Mendez poured herself into the role of Rose, a waitress and aspiring songwriter who is the victim of a mean-spirited game spearheaded by a group of young marines who have 24 hours before heading to Vietnam. Mendez brought great humanity to Rose, and one couldn't help empathize with her character's longing for a relationship. Mendez was funny, charming, touching and admirable as the socially-conscious Rose and also scored in all of the musical moments.
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