Audra McDonald's latest CD, "How Glory Goes," will be in stores on Feb. 22. Fans who wish to hear the rising singer and actress in person may be in luck: McDonald will tour in support of the album, beginning March 4. The tour will start in Columbus and run through May 14. Stops include a stint with the Atlanta Symphony, in which McDonald will sing Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, and a turn in the New York Philharmonic concert production of Sweeney Todd, May 1-7.
The tour runs as follows:
• March 4: Columbus, OH, Palace Theater
• March 5: Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan
• March 11: Irvine, CA, University of California
• March 12: Fresno, CA, Saroyan Theater
• March 18: Princeton, NJ, McCarter Theater
• March 19: Newark, NJ, NJPAC
• April 25-29: Atlanta, Atlanta Symphony, Seven Deadly Sins
• May 1-7: New York City, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, Sweeney Todd
• May 12: Boston, Harvard University, Sanders Theater
• May 14: Washington, DC, Kennedy Center
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. McDonald is currently starring in the Broadway musical Marie Christine.
-- By Robert Simonson