Metro Weekly

Audra McDonald performs with the NSO Pops on June 19

We asked the Broadway icon about Good Fight, Beauty and the Beast, and her thoughts on the state of America

Audra McDonald — Photo: Allison Michael Orenstein

If you’re a subscriber to CBS All Access and have been watching Season 2 of The Good Fight, the superb spinoff of The Good Wife, chances are you’ve noticed a new face in the high-octane cast.

“The world already existed before my character came into it,” says Audra McDonald, who plays attorney Liz Reddick-Lawrence, ex-wife of the firm’s chief partner and a woman with what appears to be a private vendetta against Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). “You’ve got a powerhouse cast of Christine Baranski, Delroy Lindo, Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, and Sarah Steele. Everybody’s just at the top of their game. There are no divas, there are no egos on the set. Everybody’s really focused on who these people are and telling the story.”

McDonald, of course, is even better known for her reign on Broadway, having won a record six Tony Awards, starting in 1994 with Carousel. She’s been similarly honored for Ragtime, Master Class, Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and is the only person in history to win in all four acting categories.

And last year, McDonald voiced the fabulously operatic Madame de Garderobe in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. “It’s anybody’s dream, I think, to be in a Disney film,” she says. “It was everything I thought it would be. At times I felt like a kid on that set, getting to work on such a beloved story with a beloved score. It was magical.”

Audra McDonald — Photo: Allison Michael Orenstein

Though not necessarily a political animal, McDonald, who will appear in concert with the NSO Pops this Tuesday, is as concerned as anyone with the country’s climate of increased racial divide.

“It should concern everybody, no matter where you are, no matter what party line you’re in,” she says. “Things are not right now…. I think that we can learn from this period and move past it. I would hope that we could look back on this period and go ‘Wow, that was a time where we all had lessons to learn and learned them, and were forever changed in the right way from what happened.'”

Audra McDonald appears with the NSO Pops at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, on Tuesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29 to $119. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.