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Will Audra McDonald Make a Surprise Return to Broadway This Spring?

The five-time Tony winner may take on the role of iconic blues singer Billie Holiday in ''Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill''. logo
Audra McDonald may return to Broadway this season in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
(© David Gordon)

Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald may return to Broadway later this season as legendary blues singer Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.

Set in 1959 in a seedy Philadelphia bar, the production relives Holiday's last performance, taking place only four months before her death at age 44. The production made its New York debut off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in 1986 and has since gone on to tour the world. McDonald is reportedly in talks to take up residence at the Circle in the Square Theatre to croon as Lady Day following the March 2 departure of Bronx Bombers.

McDonald ranks among Broadway's elite with five Tony Awards; she is tied with Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for the most performance Tonys ever received by an actress. She has received her Broadway accolades for performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, and most recently, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess.

The news of a potential return to the Great White Way comes on the heels of reports naming McDonald as Oprah Winfrey's likely costar in a 2015-16 Broadway production of 'night, Mother. This earlier stage reunion would bring her to Broadway during the same season as her husband, Will Swenson, who will play Javert in the upcoming revival of Les Misérables.