Leicester Square Theatre, London – until 15 April
At Leicester Square theatre this week only, you have the unique opportunity to see multi Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald performing in an intimate, phenomenal cabaret with host, Seth Rudetsky and her talented husband, Will Swenson.
One wonders if McDonald, being such an idolised performer in the world of musical theatre can live up to the sheer gravitas behind her name and will deliver? But what’s the use of wondering, because from the start she delivers a performance that is full of unabashed charm, wit and flawless talent.
Each song is performed with a different and captivating energy and the ease with which McDonald conveys the narrative of each piece pulls at your heartstrings and proves she’s deserved all of her Tony awards.
Rudestky is a highly skilled pianist whose accompaniment and interjecting harmonies (and the occasional comical jab), compliment McDonald’s power house voice beautifully.
The evening, while predominantly a musical-filled event, is also dotted with anecdotes from McDonald about her family life and career, as well as a fair few jokes that make the evening fly by. As well as talking about her career and achievements on stage and screen, she’s also clearly a caring and devoted mother and wife. The visible passion and adoration with which she speaks about the love for her daughters (who were backstage at the time) is beautiful to witness.
The evening’s highlights were a beautiful rendition of Moments In The Woods from Into the Woods a show McDonald is eager to one day play and a jaw-dropping take on Kander and Ebb’s Maybe This Time from Cabaret, which had the entire house in awe.
Audra will be doing an array of different material throughout her next three performances so no one evening will be quite the same and them of course she will be back over the summer at the Wyndhams theatre performing as Billie Holiday in Lady’s Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
Book to see her, there’s no finer voice around.
In residence until April 15thReviewed by Charlotte DarcyPhoto credit: Autumn de Wilde