Audra McDonald, the five-time Tony and two-time Grammy Award winner who recently starred in the Broadway revival of "Porgy and Bess," has been named the recipient of their 2013 Artist-of-the-Year Award by the Sarah Siddons Society of Chicago. The award ceremony will be held at Chicago's Ritz Carlton Hotel beginning at 11:30 a.m. on June 17.
In addition to her 2012 Tony Award for her performance in "Porgy and Bess," McDonald has received Tonys for her work in "Carousel," "Ragtime," "A Raisin in the Sun" and "The Master Class." She also earned two nominations -- for performances in "Marie Christine" and "110 in the Shade." The 42-year-old Juilliard alum also was a featured actor in the television series "Private Practice."
"There are few artists with greater accomplishments than Audra McDonald," said Siddons artistic director Dominic Missimi. "She is, without a doubt, one of our great American actor-singers. To have accomplished so much at such a young age is astonishing!"
In addition to her theatrical accomplishments, McDonald enjoys a major career as a concert and recording artist appearing with orchestras and opera companies worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York and Berlin Philharmonics, and the Houston Grand Opera. Her concert work has earned her two Grammy awards -- Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album.
Celebrating 60 years, the Sarah Siddons Society has presented its Artist-of-the-Year award to such luminaries as Helen Hayes (the first recipient, in 1953), as well as Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Geraldine Page, Carol Channing, Colleen Dewhurst, Jessica Tandy, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone and Barbara Cook. Many of Chicago's finest actresses have received the Society's Leading Lady Award including Hollis Resnick, Barbara Robertson, Rondi Reed, Mary Beth Fisher, and E. Faye Butler.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the celebratory lunch, with Doug Peck as music director and Dominic Missimi as director of a program that will feature musical performances by some of Chicago's top actors and singers. Proceeds will benefit the organization's promising young actors' scholarship fund. Along with the awards ceremony and performances, the event will include a reception and luncheon. For ticket information and reservations contact Sherry Hoel at (773) 248-4860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.