The joys of motherhood return for six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, who announced her pregnancy yesterday along with news that she’s taking a temporary maternity leave from her starring role in Shuffle Along, beginning July 24th.
The phenomenal McDonald will return to the Tony Award-nominated musical this winter.
The ESSENCE April cover girl’s lead role of ‘Lottie Gee’ will be taken over by Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens, who recently received rave reviews for her solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn. Shuffle Along will mark Giddens’ Broadway debut.
In a statement, McDonald said, “Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead to pregnancy? Will and I are completely surprised—and elated—to be expecting a new addition to our family. I am so very grateful to everyone in New York and London for allowing me to rearrange my schedule to accommodate this little miracle. While I’m disappointed I have to postpone my West End debut in Lady Day, I’m glad I’ll be able to spend a little more time in Shuffle Along this summer and will look forward to setting up a 1920s-themed nursery in my dressing room when I return to the show.”
While this is their first child together, Audra and her husband, actor Will Swenson, who married in 2012, are parents to three children combined, from their previous marriages.
Shuffle Along is nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The George C. Wolfe-directed production recently won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.
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