Audra returns home to the Saroyan in a commanding performance


Editor’s note: Because I’m out of the country, I asked a friend and veteran journalist to review Audra’s show for me. Thanks, Doug!

By Doug Hoagland

Can you be a show business legend at only 47?

If you’re Audra McDonald, you can – and she is.

McDonald thrilled a sold-out audience at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre on May 26 with a soaring voice and an easy presence that made her both stunning and accessible.

audra mike
Audra McDonald on Saturday gave esteemed Fresno City College music professor Mike Dana a shout-out from the Saroyan stage.

For 90 minutes, with no breaks, McDonald performed classic and new numbers from the songbook of American musicals with the Fresno Philharmonic. She was alternately poignant, funny, self-deprecating, dramatic and commanding – always commanding.

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