Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald's two-month gig as full-time wife (to Murder Ballad star Will Swenson) and mother is coming to an end. The multi-talented actress signed on to host seven upcoming broadcasts of PBS' acclaimed Live From Lincoln Center series, beginning with The Richard Tucker Opera Gala. The first concert in the series will air on PBS on December 13.
McDonald will both host and participate in One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch, which will take place at Avery Fisher Hall on December 31 at 7:30pm and broadcast that night as part of Live From Lincoln Center.
The evening, which will consist of Hamlisch's music for stage and screen, will be directed by Lonny Price and feature the New York Philharmonic conducted by Paul Gemignani. In addition to McDonald, Raul Esparza, Josh Groban, Megan Hilty, Joshua Bell, Michael Feinstein, Maria Friedman, Kelli O'Hara, and Frederica Von Stade, Beth Behrs, Lilla Crawford, and Brian d'Arcy James will also be among the performers.
PBS will announce the additional five Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts that McDonald will host at a later date.
McDonald studied at Lincoln Center's Juilliard School and made her Lincoln Center Theatre as Carrie in Nicholas Hytner's 1994 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, for which she won her first Tony. Since then, she has appeared numerous times on various Lincoln Center stages, including productions of the musicals Marie Christine and Passion; her concerts, Audra McDonald and Friends: Build a Bridge and Audra McDonald Sings the Movies; the star-studded Sondheim: The Birthday Concert; and the recent taping of PBS' 40th Anniversary special of its Great Performances series, which is scheduled to air next year.
McDonald also won Tony Awards for her work in The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, and Master Class. She received Emmy Award nominations for the television versions of A Raisin in the Sun and Wit.
In addition, she earned three NAACP Image Award nominations for her portrayal of Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC's medical drama Private Practice, which she departed last season. She is scheduled to return for the series' finale to air in January, according to published reports.