Dreamland & Mark Cortale Present Broadway @ Dreamland: AUDRA MCDONALD with SETH RUDETSKY
Audra McDonald with Seth Rudetsky as music director and host, in the Broadway @ Concert Series:
Historic six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald reunites with Sirius XM Radio star Seth Rudetsky direct from their critically acclaimed performances at Town Hall in New York City this past November and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco this past January. Produced by Mark Cortale, the unique format of this show that differentiates it from any other is a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s insightful, funny and revealing questions – and the music from McDonald’s legendary career.
In a four-star review of this show’s recent November 12 series premiere at New York City’s famed Town Hall theatre, New York Stage Review said: “Each and every song was beyond wonderful; I mean, McDonald turned ‘Cornet Man’—a minor song from Funny Girl—into a veritable art song.”
Audra McDonald, who currently stars on-Broadway with Michael Shannon in the revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (NY TIMES CRITICS PICK), holds the record for more Tony Best Performance wins than any other actor in history, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess thus tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. In the 2014 Broadway season, she made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the US. Audra’s many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in Private Practice, as well as Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: SVU, Having Our Say, Mister Sterling, The Bedford Diaries, Kidnapped, the TV remake of the musical Annie, and HBO’s Wit with Emma Thompson and more recently as a cast member of The Good Wife. In December 2013 Audra won critical acclaim for her performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s live telecast of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. As the host of the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center, she won her first Primetime Emmy Award in 2015. That same year she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts – America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts – from President Barack Obama. In 2018, she joined the cast of The Good Fight for the second season of the CBS All Access original drama series. Her film roles include Cradle Will Rock, Object of My Affection, It Runs in the Family, Best Thief in the World, and Seven Servants. Ms. McDonald returned to the Broadway stage in 2016 with director George C. Wolfe and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover in the musical Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, a new retelling of an original musical by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. On the concert stage, she has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, and internationally with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic. Of Audra McDonald’s many roles, she notes that her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.
Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway as well as the host of Seth Speaks on Sirius/XM Stars. As an author, he penned My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan and the sequel The Rise And Fall Of A Theater Geek (Random House) as well as three volumes of Seth’s Broadway Diary featuring inside scoop and hilarious stories from all of the stars he’s worked with. He co-wrote and co-starred in Disaster! (NY TIMES “critics pick”) which also premiered to rave reviews in London. In June 2016, he and his husband, James Wesley, co-produced a recording of “What The World Needs Now” with stars like Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carole King, Audra McDonald which went to number one on iTunes and raised more than $100,000 for the Orlando shooting victims (and is still raising money. Buy it!). Seth and James have a foundation called Your Kids Our Kids that presented Concert For America; a series around the country featuring stars like Barry Manilow, Stephanie Mills, Vanessa Williams, Tina Fey, Randy Rainbow and Audra McDonald that raised money for 5 non-profits that have been working relentlessly since the 2016 presidential election. They also present Voices for The Voiceless, a yearly star-studded concert for You Gotta Believe which helps older foster children find families, even if they’ve aged out of the system. If you want to hang out with Seth and James and a bunch of Broadway stars performing up a storm, come on one of their cruises! In March 2019 they sailed to the Caribbean and in July they’re sailing to Alaska! More info at SethsBroadwayVacations.com.
Mark Cortale (Producer) co-produced the critically acclaimed new Off-Broadway musical Midnight At The Never Get at The York Theatre this past October which recently received 3 Lucille Lortel Award nominations including Best Musical and 2 Drama Desk Nominations including Best Score. He produced Deconstructing Patti on Broadway last September at the Nederlander Theatre with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS starring Patti LuPone and Seth Rudetsky. He created the Broadway @ concert series in 2011 at The Art House in Provincetown where he serves as Producing Artistic Director. The series, featuring creative partner Seth Rudetsky as music director and host, will have its ninth series this summer and guest artists over the years have included Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Megan Mulllally, Christine Ebersole and Jessie Mueller. The Broadway @ series also premiered in 2013 in New Orleans, in Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) with Megan Mullally and in London’s West End with Patti LuPone at the Leicester Square Theater. The series has since travelled to cities that include Chicago @ The Steppenwolf, Beverly Hills @ The Wallis, Fort Lauderdale @ The Parker Playhouse, San Francisco @ The Herbst Theater and Scottsdale @ Scottsdale Center for the Arts. In the 2018/19 the series launched in Boston @ the Huntington Theatre with Chita Rivera and at The Town Hall in New York City with six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. Mark produced the feature film Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads and also produces the singing string quartet Well-Strung, which he co-founded. Info at www.markcortalepresents.com.