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Audra McDonald to Take Shuffle Along Hiatus

Everyone is excited about the upcoming Broadway production of Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. With a stellar cast of Broadway heavyweights that include Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry, and Billy Porter, the April 21 opening night can’t get here soon enough. But, for those who plan to catch the musical during the summer, they’ll be disappointed if they expect to see McDonald.

The six-time Tony winner will be absent from the production for three months starting Tuesday, June 21, 2016 through Sunday, September 25. It’s been announced that her absence is to fulfill a prior commitment. However, there have been no details released on what that commitment is or who will fulfill the role in her absence. McDonald is scheduled to return to the show on September 27.

Shuffle Along will present the landmark 1921 African-American musical revue Shuffle Along alongside the behind-the-scenes details that led the songwriting team of Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and librettists F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles to create this groundbreaking work. In what has been billed as a revival, McDonald will take on the role of “Lottie Gee” and Brian Stokes Mitchell will appear in the the role of “F.E. Miller.” Porter takes on the role of “Aubrey Lyles,” with Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry as “Blake” and “Sissle.”

Other cast members include Adrienne Warren from Bring It On: The MusicalDarius de Haas (RentKiss of the Spider Woman), Felicia Boswell (Motown: The MusicalMemphis), and Christian Dante White, c0-creator of Broadway Legacy.

George C. Wolfe will write the book and direct and Savion Glover will choreograph the highly anticipated production. As previously announced, the rest of the creative team includes Orchestrator Daryl Waters (musical supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations), Santo Loquasto (scenic design), Ann Roth (costume design), Scott Lehrer (sound design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting design), and Shelton Becton (musical director).

In 2014, the extraordinarily talented McDonald made Broadway history with a record-setting sixth Tony Award, for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She also has the distinction of being the first person to receive awards in all four actress acting categories. She has also won Tonys for Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, and Porgy and Bess.

Shuffle Along begins previews at the Music Box Theatre on March 14, 2016. For more information on tickets, click HERE.

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