Audra McDonald Pregnant, Postpones West End Debut
Audra McDonald has been forced to take a temporary leave of absence from her Broadway show and delay her London debut because she’s pregnant. The six-time Tony Award winner will be stepping down as Lottie Gee in Shuffle Along after announcing the surprise news she’s set to become a mom again.
Her maternity leave will begin at the end of July and she’ll return to the show in the winter. “Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause (around menopause) could lead to pregnancy?” McDonald writes in a statement. “(Husband) Will (Swenson) and I are completely surprised and elated to be expecting a new addition to our family.” The actress/singer will also have to delay her West End debut in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, adding, “I am so very grateful to everyone in New York and London for allowing me to rearrange my schedule to accommodate this little miracle.” “While I’m disappointed I have to postpone my West End debut in Lady Day. I’m glad I’ll be able to spend a little more time in Shuffle Along this summer and will look forward to setting up a 1920s-themed nursery in my dressing room when I return to the show.” Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens will step into the role of Lottie Gee during McDonald’s hiatus, joined by the show’s choreographer Savion Glover, who is widely considered to be the world’s greatest living tap dancer. McDonald and Swenson wed in 2012 and the baby will be the couple’s first together. She has a daughter, named Zoe Madeline, and he is father to two sons from their previous marriages. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill was scheduled to run at Wyndham’s Theater from June 25 to September 3.