American Songbook Series Goes On Jan. 7 with Audra McDonald

News   American Songbook Series Goes On Jan. 7 with Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald, who canceled her Jan. 6 performance in the American Songbook series due to illness, will perform Jan. 7.

A Lincoln Center spokesperson confirmed to Playbill On-Line that the four time Tony Award-winning actress will play the Rose Theater in the new Time Warner Center Jan. 7 and 8.

McDonald, as previously reported, will present a brand-new concert celebrating contemporary pop composers, boasting works by Elvis Costello, Laura Nyro, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Prince. Featuring a ten-piece band, the concerts will also include songs by such McDonald favorites as Michael John LaChiusa and Adam Guettel.

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About her American Songbook concerts, McDonald recently told Playbill On-Line, "We always try and put a few of our favorites in, but it's basically a new show. We're doing a lot of works by these composers and then some pop material, trying to explore the bridge between their work and the pop world. I'm not crossing over — this is not Audra's big crossover," she laughed. "I'm not becoming Britney Spears. Actually, a lot of the music I've chosen is music that I think could have been conceived for any musical in this day and age." When asked about how she chooses songs for her concerts, the singer explained, "I pick a lot of it, but I get a lot of ideas thrown at me from different places. My music director, Ted Sperling, helps a lot. I also have a lot of people whose taste in music I appreciate and respect. Certain things — like the Laura Nyro tunes — came from [conductor] Michael Tilson Thomas back in 1998. And, the Elvis Costello tune was a tune that a pianist of mine suggested that I sing, and then I was chatting with [jazz vocalist] Diana Krall, and she said, 'You know what song you should sing? My husband's.' When things like that drop into your lap or come across your consciousness like that, I try and pay attention to them."

McDonald, who was last on Broadway in the critically acclaimed revival of A Raisin in the Sun, has several other projects in the works. She recently workshopped a new production of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' 110 in the Shade, and she will make her Houston Opera debut in 2006 in Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine. A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also on Broadway last season 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. She also co-starred in the recent NBC series "Mister Sterling.”

The Frederick P. Rose Hall is located within the Time Warner Center at Broadway at 60th Street. Tickets for American Songbook are available by calling (212) 721 6500. Visit for more information.


A Jan. 6 statement from the Lincoln Center press office stated, "Tonight’s Audra McDonald performance, which was scheduled to open Lincoln Center’s American Songbook season, has been canceled due to Ms. McDonald’s severe intestinal flu. The concert was to have taken place in the Rose Theater, Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle at 8 PM this evening."

Lincoln Center ticket buyers will be contacted about how to exchange their tickets for a different Songbook event, request a refund or donate the value of their tickets to Lincoln Center. For customer service, call (212) 875-5456.

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