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2019 Kennedy Center Honors

This Sunday, CBS broadcasts the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors which celebrate the lifetime achievements of five artists: Michael Tilson Thomas; Linda Ronstadt; Sally Field; Earth, Wind & Fire; and the first-ever TV show to receive the award, Sesame Street.

Hosted by former honoree LL Cool J, the program features a variety of performances to celebrate the honorees. Carrie Underwood sings Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou,” Sesame Street puppets accompany country singer Thomas Rhett, and Audra McDonald performs Bernstein’s “Somewhere” alongside members of the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas’ former student, conductor Teddy Abrams. Tune in this Sunday at 8/7c to watch the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors on CBS.

2020 Critics’ Choice Award Nomination

Audra McDonald has been nominated for a 2020 Critics’ Choice Award in the category of “Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” for her portrayal of Liz Lawrence in The Good Fight. The follow-up series to The Good Wife, The Good Fight is a drama featuring political and social commentary on topics such as the alt-right, #MeToo Movement, and fake news.

The show is nominated for “Best Drama Series,” Christine Baranski for “Best Actress in a Drama Series,” and Delroy Lindo for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.” Other nominees in Audra’s category include Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Laura Dern (Big Little Lies), Jean Smart (Watchmen), Meryl Streep (Big Little Lies), Susan Kelechi Watson (This Is Us).

Click here to watch a clip of Audra discussing her character’s role in season 3 of The Good Fight. 

Audra to Appear in Aretha Franklin Biopic

Audra McDonald returns to the big screen, where she stars as Aretha Franklin’s mother in the upcoming biopic Respect. The film, which is scheduled to hit theaters in August 2020, also features Jennifer Hudson as Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Forest Whitaker as Franklin’s father, and Mary J. Blige as fellow legend Dinah Washington. The award-winning cast will be directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, and will feature many of the songs that catapulted Franklin to stardom including “Respect,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Think.”

Fall Concert Tour

After a summer on Broadway, Audra McDonald begins a fall concert tour this September. Traveling with her trio—Andy Einhorn (piano/conductor), Gene Lewin (drums), and Mark Vanderpoel (bass)—Audra performs her trademark mix of songs from American musical theater in Iowa City, IO; Fairfax, VA; Worcester, MA; and Orem, UT.

Along the way, Audra also headlines select special events: a concert with Seth Rudetsky at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre (September 15), the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season-opening gala with Yannick Nézet-Séguin (September 18), the Lansing Symphony Orchestra in their 90th season-opening night with Mo. Timothy Muffitt (September 21),  and the annual benefit for The Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Augusta, GA (October 13).

For a full list of Audra’s performances, click here.

Covenant House Sleep Out

On August 19, Audra participated in Covenant House’s Sleep Out: Stage & Screen along with over 100 members of the Broadway and film communities. This is Audra’s sixth time sleeping outside on the streets of New York as an act of solidarity with the 4.2 million youths who experience homelessness each year. Audra, who has served on the Covenant House board since 2014, spent the evening participating in breakout sessions, a song circle, and other programs, getting to know young people whom Covenant House has helped. She was joined by her daughter Zoe—along with stars such as Rachel Brosnahan and Zachary Levi—for the second part of the event: a night spent sleeping on the street. The Sleep Out doubles as a fundraiser; in total, Monday night’s Sleep Out raised nearly $400,000 to combat youth homelessness.

2019 Sleep Out Campaign

Audra McDonald lends her support to Covenant House International’s annual Sleep Out. On Monday, August 19, she and other members of the stage and screen community will sleep out on the streets of New York City as an act of solidarity with the 4.2 million youth who experience homelessness each year. A board member of the organization since 2014, Audra describes the Sleep Out as “a life-changing, life-affirming event” that genuinely touches the young people affected by homelessness.

In advance of the event, Audra is raising funds for the youth of Covenant House International. To learn more about the organization and how to contribute, click here.