Audra McDonald to join Fresno Philharmonic for Memorial Day weekend concert

A hometown concert by Audra McDonald is rare — and always big news.

The Fresno Philharmonic will get that opportunity on May 26, when the Fresno-raised McDonald — who has won more Tony awards than any performer — will stop at the Saroyan Theatre on a West Coast swing of her concert tour.

Autumn de Wilde 2

Audra McDonald will perform with her hometown orchestra on May 26. Photo / ©Autumn de Wilde

Andy Einhorn, a longtime musical collaborator of McDonald’s, will conduct.

Tickets for the general public will go on sale Dec. 18 and may be purchased at or by calling 559-261-0600. Fresno Philharmonic subscribers and donors have the opportunity to purchase tickets from Dec. 8-17. Ticket prices range from $35-$95.


Stephen Wilson, executive director of the Fresno Philharmonic, says there was a flurry of activity behind the scenes to arrange the concert date.

“We’re thrilled that it came together,” he says.

McDonald is a proud Fresnan, often acknowledging the valuable training she received as a teenager at Good Company Players and the Roosevelt School of the Arts. She went on to graduate from Juilliard.

Her six Tony awards are a record for performance wins, and she is the only performer to win all four acting categories. Her most recent win, in 2014, was for “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” She’s also won two Grammy awards and an Emmy award.

Along with a busy stage and concert career, McDonald has recently had an active movie career. Her two most recent films: She played Madame de Garderobe in Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast”; and the character of Sally in the musical “Hello Again.”

She appeared in a 2014 concert at Visalia’s L.J. Williams Theatre. In 2011 she gave a concert for Fresno Grand Opera at the Warnors Theatre.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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