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Audra Set to Narrate, Executive Produce Upcoming Whitney Houston Documentary

Whitney Houston In Focus, an upcoming documentary about the early life and rise to fame of the iconic Whitney Houston, is now in production with plans to release in early 2022. Audra McDonald will serve as narrator and executive producer for the project, that is based on an upcoming book on Houston by photographer Bette Marshall. Of the singer, McDonald said:
“Whitney Houston is an artist I worshipped from the moment I first heard her sing. Her voice was simply miraculous and her artistry was perfection. We all witnessed her superstardom, and I’m honored to help tell this part of Whitney’s story, before it all began.”
To read more, click here.

Audra Returns to Broadway

Audra McDonald is set to make her return to Broadway in Adrienne Kennedy’s play Ohio State Murders, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (Fences, A Soldier’s Play).

The play marks Kennedy’s Broadway debut at age 90, exploring the effects of racism in the United States. Audra McDonald stars as Suzanne Alexander, a fictional Black writer who, upon returning to Ohio State University to discuss her writing, becomes entangled in a dark mystery. In 2020, McDonald participated in a streamed reading of the play for the “Spotlight on Plays” series to benefit The Actors Fund.

Production dates and casting to be announced. To read more, click here.

Audra Appears in “Down Low”

Lukas Gage (The White Lotus) and Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story) star in FilmNation’s Down Low, leading an all-star cast including Audra McDonald, Judith Light (American Crime Story: Impeachment), and Simon Rex (Red Rocket).

The comedy feature, written by Gage and Phoebe Fisher, centers around a deeply repressed man, the uninhibited young man that gives him a happy ending, and all the lives they ruin along the way.

Down Low will serve as Rightor Doyle’s feature directorial debut and be produced by Ashley Fox, Lucas Wiesendanger, and Ross KatzClick here to learn more.

Starring in “Rustin”

Audra McDonald will star alongside Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Scottsboro Boys), Chris Rock (Fargo, Top Five), and Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) in a new film focusing on gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. McDonald will play the role of organizer and activist Ella Baker as the film chronicles the facilitation of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin will be first feature film from the Higher Ground, Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company in partnership with Netflix.

 

Click here to learn more.

Audra McDonald Brings “warmth, professionalism” to the 74th Tony Awards

Led by host Audra McDonald, the 74th Tony Awards celebrated Broadway’s reopening with beloved performances and long-awaited reunions for theater’s biggest stars. In addition to serving as the evening’s emcee on Paramount+, McDonald reprised her role in the original cast of Ragtime for a performance of “Wheels of a Dream” with Brian Stokes Mitchell on the CBS special “Broadway’s Back!”

Vulture praised her hosting duties as a highlight of the night, stating:

“Audra McDonald entering as host, bringing with her the calming fact of being Audra. Whether it was because she’s on CBS’s The Good Fight or something else, Paramount+ made the superb choice of having Audra McDonald, beloved ultraprofessional, as emcee. She cares, she has authority, she knows everyone, she’s gracious and enthusiastic, and they’re definitely going to listen to her. She even makes thanking the accounting firm seem genuine.”

Audra McDonald to Host 2021 Tony Awards

Audra McDonald will host the 74th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, September 26, streaming exclusively on Paramount+ at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The event, honoring the shows from the 2019-20 season that were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will stream live from New York City’s Winter Garden theater. Immediately following, Leslie Odom Jr. will host the second part of the evening, The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back, airing on CBS from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

Audra commented, “I’m elated that the Tony Awards are back! I am so glad that we’ve found a way to gather safely to honor and recognize all the incredible work that was done in the 2019-20 season. While we look back, my greatest hope is that this event marks the beginning of a new era for Broadway—one with renewed commitment to inclusivity and belonging as well as appreciation for the sacred experience of live theater.”

Click here to watch on Paramount+.