It was an especially good night for Broadway record setter Audra McDonald.
Last night at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, McDonald won a record-breaking sixth Tony Award for her portrayal of the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson’s musical play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Her latest win, her first in the Lead Actress in a Play category, also marks the first time a performer has won Tonys in all four acting categories.
Audra previously won as Best Featured Actress in a Play (A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class), Best Lead Actress in a Musical (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Ragtime and Carousel).
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
runs through August 10 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Click here
to purchase tickets.
McDonald's historic win – at age 43 – topped Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris's previous records of five acting Tonys each, and the Radio City Music Hall audience acknowledged the significance of the achievement with a prolonged standing ovation.
As the cheers continued, McDonald cried openly, and acknowledged Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou and Billie Holiday, whom she plays in the drama.
She also told her children and husband they are most important thing in life to her, and thanked her late parents, up in heaven, for ignoring their doctor's advice and not medicating their overactive daughter.
Instead, she said, they directed her toward the theater.