Audra McDonald Confirmed to Return to Porgy and Bess July 3

News   Audra McDonald Confirmed to Return to Porgy and Bess July 3
Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, who has been sidelined from the Broadway production of Porgy and Bess with vocal inflammation, will return to the Tony-winning revival July 3, a representative for the actress confirmed to

Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis
Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The five-time Tony-winning actress was put on vocal rest by her doctors the week of June 20 in order to recover from vocal inflammation that resulted from performing with a respiratory infection. This morning her doctor gave her the okay to resume performances in the production.

Her understudy, actress Alicia Hall Moran, performed the role of Bess for the past two weeks. 

McDonald recently won her fifth Tony Award for playing Bess in the revival of the Gershwin opera that opened Jan. 12 and is playing an extended engagement through Sept. 30.

Diane Paulus directed the production that won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It has been streamlined into a two-and-a-half presentation by Paulus, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and musical adaptor Diedre Murray. 

Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (Side Show, Les Miserables) stars as Porgy in a cast that also features Tony nominee David Alan Grier (The First, Race, Dreamgirls) as Sportin' Life, Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, American Idiot) as Jake, Nikki Renee Daniels as Clara, Phillip Boykin as Crown, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Maria, Cedric Neal as Frazier, J.D. Webster as Mingo, Heather Hill as Lily, Phumzile Sojola as Peter and Nathaniel Stampley as Robbins. Porgy and Bess has music by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book and additional lyrics by DuBose Heyward. It is based on the play Porgy, by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward.

According to the producers, Porgy and Bess "is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories."

The work includes such songs as "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," "I Loves You, Porgy," "My Man's Gone Now," "There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York," "Summertime," "I Got Plenty o' Nothin'" and "It Ain't Necessarily So."

For tickets, visit The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street.


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