Audra McDonald, who won her fifth Tony Award earlier this month for her performance in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” on Broadway, will be getting vocal rest per doctor’s orders until July 3.
Doctors strict rest orders for her vocal chords is due to inflammation from an earlier respiratory infection, resulting in a leave of absence for the actress in the production of “Porgy and Bess.”
“A singer is both a musician and an athlete,” said McDonald’s spokesman, Sean Michael Gross. “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.”
The actress’ understudy, Alicia Hall Moran, will perform the role of Bess in her place. Moran already plays Bess in Wednesday evening performances.
“Porgy and Bess,” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, is scheduled to run through Sept. 30. The Diane Paulus directed production originated at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts before opening on Broadway in January.
The production is a revised version of the Gershwin classic, with changes by playwright Suzan Lori-Parks and Deidre L. Murray.