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Audra McDonald returning to Broadway as Billie Holiday before Tonys

02/25/2014 by Kristina Lopez

Audra McDonald is returning to Broadway.

The five-time Tony Award-winning actress will play legendary singer Billie Holiday in the musical "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," according to The New York Times. The news was announced on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

"Thrilled to finally share the @LadyDayonBway news today," McDonald tweeted on Tuesday. "We've been working on it for almost 2 yrs & are so excited to bring it to Broadway!"

"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" will begin performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre on March 25 and it will officially open for a limited engagement run of 70 performances on April 13. The show's early run means McDonald will qualify for a nomination at the 2014 Tony Awards.

The show takes place in 1959, the same year that Holiday died at 44 of pulmonary edema and heart failure. McDonald will perform iconic Holiday songs like "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child."

McDonald, who is also likely known for her role as Dr. Naomi Bennett on "Private Practice," last appeared on Broadway in 2012 in a revival of the musical "Porgy and Bess." She won her fifth Tony Award for her performance in the show.

It was also recently reported that McDonald will co-star with Oprah Winfrey, who will be making her Broadway debut, in a revival of the drama "'night, Mother." The drama is set to debut in the 2015-2016 Broadway season, The New York Times reports.

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