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Audra McDonald to return to Broadway in 2016 in a musical about the 1921 show 'Shuffle Along'

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NEW YORK — Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald is returning to Broadway next year in a show that reaches back over 90 years.

Producer Scott Rudin said Thursday that McDonald will star next March in a show that looks at the making of the 1921 hit "Shuffle Along," one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans.

The show — to be called "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed" — will have a story by George C. Wolfe and be choreographed by Savion Glover. The duo last worked together on "1996 hit Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk."

Previews are to begin March 14, 2016, at the Music Box Theatre.

PHOTO: FILE - In this June 8, 2014 file photo, Audra McDonald poses in the press room with her award for best actress in a play at the 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Producer Scott Rudin said Thursday that McDonald will star in March 2016 in a show that looks at the making of the 1921 hit “Shuffle Along,” one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans. The show will have a story by George C. Wolfe and be choreographed by Savion Glover.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this June 8, 2014 file photo, Audra McDonald poses in the press room with her award for best actress in a play at the 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Producer Scott Rudin said Thursday that McDonald will star in March 2016 in a show that looks at the making of the 1921 hit “Shuffle Along,” one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans. The show will have a story by George C. Wolfe and be choreographed by Savion Glover. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

"Shuffle Along," with music and lyrics by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, has a score that includes the songs "(I'm Just) Wild About Harry," ''Love Will Find a Way," ''Bandana Days" and "Shuffle Along." The cast featured Paul Robeson and Florence Mills, and Josephine Baker joined the tour.

The dance-heavy show centers on a three-way mayoralty race in a small Southern town. It played some 500 performances and attracted the likes of George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson and Langston Hughes.

McDonald won a Tony the last time she was on Broadway in 2014, playing Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill." She also won Tonys for "Carousel," ''Master Class," ''Ragtime," ''A Raisin in the Sun" and "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess."


Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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