Porgy and Bess star Audra McDonald has been placed on vocal rest in response to a respiratory infection resulting in her vocal chords inflaming to a point where she is unable to sing. McDonald, who recently picked up her fifth Tony Award for her performance, will return to the production July 3. During McDonald's absence the role of Bess will be played by Alicia Hall Moran.
Set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, Porgy and Bess follows beautiful Bess (McDonald) as she struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy (Norm Lewis). Directed by Diane Paulus and featuring a revised book by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre L. Murray, the production also stars David Alan Grier, Joshua Henry, Philip Boykin, Nikki Renee Daniels, Chistopher Innvar, Bryonha Marie Parham and NaTasha Yvette Williams. In addition to McDonald's win, the production also won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
Upon her return, McDonald is expected to perform seven shows a week, with her not performing most Wednesday evenings.