With ‘Dear Audra,’ a chance to tell Fresno’s beloved Broadway star how you feel

Audra McDonald’s May 26 concert with the Fresno Philharmonic is sold out, which is no surprise. This is Audra Country. It’s sort of the same thing as Derek Carr Country, except the object of our nation-state’s affection went to Juilliard. She’s even getting part of a downtown street named after her.

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Hail to the chief: Audra McDonald returns to Fresno for a May 26 concert. Photo / New York Daily News

In order to mark Audra’s debut performance with the Fresno Philharmonic, I am putting together a little project called “Dear Audra.” In it I’d like to highlight messages of welcome from my readers to the most-winning Broadway star in Tony Award-history. These messages can be in written format (with a limit of 500 words), photography (with a limit of three), or video format (with a time limit of one minute). You can talk about your favorite Audra memory, whether from seeing her in Fresno or in the world beyond. You can tell her what you think of her latest album, “Sing Happy,” which is already available digitally and will be released on CD on May 25). You can give her a big thank-you or just welcome her back to Fresno. You can tell her what it means to have someone of her talent (and commitment to equality) hailing from the central San Joaquin Valley. Share your story! I’m sure she’d love to hear it.

I’ll put together a collection of these contributions and compile them into a nice, pretty blog post in advance of her concert. And I’ll make sure that Audra gets the link.

But you have to hurry: Deadline for submissions is 11 p.m. Monday, May 21. Send all submissions directly to my email ( Questions? Feel free to email them as well.

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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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