Producers of The Gershwins' PORGY AND BESS, the 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical, announced today that Audra McDonald has been ordered on a period of complete vocal rest by her doctor through the end of the month. As a result of performing with a respiratory infection last week, her vocal cords have become inflamed to a point where she cannot sing. She is scheduled to return to the production on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.
In her absence, the role of Bess will be played by Alicia Hall Moran, who is making her Broadway debut.
McDonald's spokesperson, Sean Michael Gross, commented: "A singer is both a musician and an athlete. Just like a pitcher can't throw with a sprained wrist, a singer cannot perform with inflamed vocal cords. And while medical treatments are part of the process, a proper recovery is also dependent upon rest. This is Audra's current dilemma. No one is more frustrated and disappointed than she is that she will be out of the show through the end of June, but she must adhere to her doctor's orders."
Upon her return, it is anticipated that McDonald will perform a seven-performance schedule, with her not performing most Wednesday evenings.
The Gershwins' PORGY AND BESS, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, has a cast led by five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Ragtime, "Private Practice") as Bess, Tony nominee Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, Sondheim on Sondheim) as Porgy and three-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier (Race, "In Living Color") as Sporting Life. The cast also includes Tony nominee Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Christopher Innvar as Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena and NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mariah, as well as Sumayya Ali, Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson III, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Gavin Gregory, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
The Gershwins' PORGY AND BESS began previews on Saturday, December 17, 2012 and officially opened on January 12, 2012 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street). Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-250-2929.
The classic story by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward is set in Charleston's fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess' relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater's most exhilarating love stories.