Theater & Arts

Audra McDonald is coming home to sing with the Fresno Philharmonic for the first time

Broadway star and local arts scene legend Audra McDonald will return to her hometown in May for a concert with the Fresno Philharmonic.

The Roosevelt High graduate will perform on May 26 at the Saroyan Theatre as part of a seven-month tour of performances with various city orchestras beginning in January. Tickets go on sale Dec. 18 and will range from $35-$95. They can be purchased at or by calling 559-261-0600. McDonald’s music director, Andy Einhorn, will conduct the orchestra.

Fresno Philharmonic President Stephen Wilson said this will be McDonald’s debut performance with the orchestra. Einhorn was guest conductor of the philharmonic’s “Home for the Holidays” pops concert in December 2016.

According to The Bee’s archives, McDonald’s last performance in Fresno was in 2011.

McDonald has reached worldwide fame as a singer and actress in plays, musicals, operas, films and television shows over the past two decades. She most recently reprised her role as singer Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” which closed a string of performances on London’s West End in September. In 2014, McDonald won her sixth Tony Award (a standing record for performers) for the role. A television production of the play also earned her an Emmy Award nomination.

In 2017, McDonald voiced Madame de Garderobe in the Disney live-action film “Beauty and the Beast.” She also starred in “Hello Again,” which opened the 2017 Fresno Reel Pride film festival.

She has recorded five solo albums and appeared on multiple TV shows, including 77 episodes of “Private Practice.”