Audra McDonald

Growing up, I considered myself a Broadway baby. Though I was in South Florida at one of the best art schools in the country, I still believe I grew up in southern New York. There were always New Yorkers around me and I sang a song from a musical daily.

I heard Bernadette Peters name often and it was as if she floated on clouds. I never got to see her as many of my classmates did so I added it to my bucket list. When I saw she was an option at theater open day, I committed to purchasing a ticket even though it was about 5 months prior to the show. I enjoyed her show immensely.

On Saturday, as I rushed to the Wortham to pick up tickets from will call, I saw an ad that almost made me hyperventilate. It said Audra McDonald was performing on March 10th. As in three days from Saturday. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it happen, but I had to think of something. How in the world did it slip past me that she would be in town.

Let’s take a step back to summer of 2012. It was a very humid and sticky day in New York City. My friend and I finally committed to go see Porgy and Bess. To be transparent, I was most excited about seeing my college classmate perform in the show with a runner up excitement to see Audra.

I left Porgy feeling conflicted. On one hand I was overwhelmed with joy to experience such an amazing performance which Audra and the cast gave me chills. Yet, I was angry that no one ever talked about Audra in my circles.

I decided I could not allow an opportunity to go by without seeing her again. Audra is a legend. I purchased my ticket the night before and I am so happy I was able to be a part of such a special night.

Audra’s voice is perfect. At first, I was thinking no wonder I chose engineering over Broadway. I can carry a tune, but I am no Audra. Then in a break Audra mentioned how much her daughter hates her voice. She told her as a toddler “it makes my ears cry.” Then I became inspired. Maybe my family was wrong about my singing ability. Maybe I still have a chance on Broadway.

That’s what happens when you witness a diva. She makes you believe you too can make your dreams come true. She even sang about it. To put icing on the top, she talked about her work with the covenant House. An organization to help teens stricken with homelessness. A woman after my own heart, pulling up others with you as you climb.

I am speechless with how wonderful the performance was. Though I have renewed my faith in my dreams through the arts, I knew better than to sing along when Audra commanded the audience to sing. There were talented people all around me. There is nothing like a true singer giving you the eye when you sing out of key.

I am so grateful for Audra and the authenticity she brings to the stage. Houston keeps surprising me with amazing shows!


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