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Audra McDonald Sings Yahoo! Answers On Jimmy Fallon + Talks Shuffle Along Broadway

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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I just knew when I saw the tweet. Jimmy Fallon couldn’t have the remarkable Audra McDonald as a guest and not do a Yahoo! Answers. As usual, I was right. On Monday night’s “Tonight Show,” Jimmy had the six-time Tony Award-winner sing replies to real Yahoo! Answers to questions like, “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Whatever happened to Ja Rule?” Quite honestly, it’s one of the most brilliant things the show has given us, as searching through Yahoo! Answers is one of my favorite pastimes, having Audra and Jimmy make a cabaret act out of them is even better.

Later, McDonald sat down to talk about the highly-anticipated new musical Shuffle Along, and explained the historical significance of the show (it broke many barriers including being first to feature jazz in musicals, feature black actors, and even have black audience members in the orchestra seats). She also talked about what it’s like learning choreography from tap phenomenon  Savion Glover (she swears she’ll have it together by the first preview).

As a bonus, The Tonight Show blessed us with another clip where McDonald recalls some of her tales from backstage while doing Porgy and Bess and 110 In The Shade, which includes dog poop and ladybug tattoos.

Check out the videos below and if you haven’t already, get your Shuffle Along tickets here. Previews start at The Music Box on March 15th, and officially opens April 28th. Trust us, it’s a show you definitely don’t want to miss.

Broadway Black TV

Renee Elise Goldsberry Cast In HBOs “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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Work, Work!

Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry, who recently announced her departure from Hamilton this fall to film and star in new Netflix series Altered Carbon, is staying #booked. The actress was just cast in the title role to star opposite Oprah Winfrey in HBO Films The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Goldsberry will play Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (played by Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

Based on Rebecca Skloot’s 2011 best-seller, veteran and favorite Broadway Black director-producer George C. Wolfe (Shuffle AlongAngels In America) wrote the adaptation and will direct.

Oprah Winfrey and Carla Gardini executive produce through Harpo Films and Skloot is co-executive producer.

Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks, Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman; her granddaughter Jeri Lacks; and her grandchildren Alfred Carter Jr. and LaTonya Carter are consultants on the project as well.

I remember reading this book the summer between my freshman and sophomore year and being brought to tears because this woman’s life changed medicine forever and at the same time her family was struggling to afford health insurance. Grappling with the idea of what happens to your body, what people can do when you die was haunting me for years. It’s about time this story gets the screen adaption it deserves and we couldn’t be happier that Renee, Oprah, and George get to tell the story.

No premiere date has been announced yet, but keep following Broadway Black for the latest updates.

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Broadway Black TV

Savion Glover & Shuffle Along Cast Show Out On Maya & Marty!

Broadway Black

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Tony Award-winning choreographer Savion Glover and the Broadway cast of Shuffle Along made an appearance on the premiere of NBC’s brand new variety show “Maya & Marty” starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Maya Rudolph and Tony winner Martin Short, in their first live televised performance.

With suitcases in hand and accompanied by no music, the ensemble cast of thirteen closed the premiere with the “Pennsylvania Graveyard Shuffle,” midway through joined by Glover, the musical’s choreographer.

The six-episode series, taped from Studio 6A in NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in front of a studio audience, features a set of comedy sketches, celebrity guests, musical numbers, and a spectacular onstage band led by Charlie Rosen.

Among the other guests of the May 31st premiere were “SNL’s” Kenan Thompson, Tom Hanks, Larry David, with a performance by Miley Cyrus.

Based on the original 1921 musical revue, this new ten-time Tony-nominated production, billed as Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, is directed by George C. Wolfe.

This adaptation stars Tony winners Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter, and focuses on the original composers’, Eubie Blake (played by Brandon Victor Dixon) and Noble Sissle (Joshua Henry), challenges in creating the production as well as their trials and tribulations in later years.

This year, Shuffle Along received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.

McDonald will take a maternity leave of absence at the end of July, and Rhiannon Giddens, in her first appearance on Broadway, will be her replacement in the role of Lottie Gee. Glover will also join the cast during Giddens’ run.

Glover recently appeared on NBC’s “Late Night: Seth Meyers.”

“Maya & Marty” is a spin-off of Rudolph’s original variety show pilot, “The Maya Rudolph Show” which aired in 2014, but wasn’t picked up for a series.

“Maya & Marty” airs Tuesdays at 10 PM ET on NBC.

For tickets to Shuffle Along.

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