Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Win tickets to Audra McDonald’s big Fresno concert

UPDATE:The winner has been notified. Thanks for your participation.


No name of a hometown star burns more brightly in Fresno than Audra McDonald, who continues to conquer the Broadway and concert worlds with her total package of singing and acting.

After four Tony Awards, she’s making headlines for a highly anticipated new production of “Porgy and Bess,” which begins previews in December. In the meantime, she’s embarking on an extended concert tour. On Oct. 14, that tour will bring her for a return visit to the Warnors Theatre to open the Fresno Grand Opera’s 2011-12 season. [Tickets]

Now’s your chance to win two tickets to that glittering concert, in which McDonald will sing Broadway tunes.

Just give us your thoughts on Audra in a comment on this post. Some potential approaches to take: Are you proud of how far she’s come? Do you have local memories of her when she was growing up in Fresno? What productions of hers have you seen? What did you think of her character on the TV series “Private Practice”? Of all the songs you’ve heard her sing, which is your favorite?

Some comments might be used in an upcoming story about McDonald’s appearance.

We’ll pick the winner at random from all entries received, both online and in print form. Deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 10.

Rules are on the jump.

Photo / New York Times

Only readers who submit a comment on this post or by mail as detailed in The Bee’s print edition are eligible. A winner will be picked at random. Recipients will be notified by e-mail or phone at the end of each giveaway period. No substitutions or transfer of winners/prizes. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. Some prizes may have due dates for redemption/use. Employees and immediate family of The Fresno Bee, and any/all of the participating giveaway sponsors, are not eligible to win. By accepting a giveaway, recipient consents to allow the use of his/her name and/or photograph for advertising or similar promotions without further compensation. Winner releases all sponsors of liability regarding use and enjoyment of the prizes. Tax liabilities and insurance, if any, are sole responsibility of the winner. No purchase necessary to win.

Responses to "Win tickets to Audra McDonald’s big Fresno concert"

Kristy says:

Audra is incredibly talented and it would be fantastic
to hear her sing songs from Porgy and Bess.

Stephen says:

I wonder if the Tony folks shy away from granting Audra a fifth award cuz that would tie her for the most ever.

Of course, she’s still quite young and still quite talented, so I’m thinking she passes Bernadette at some point and reaches the Julie Harris/Anglea Lansbury plateau!

Tim says:

I knew she was going places from her days with Roger Rocka’s Jr Good Company Players.

Zeke says:

Audra is amazing1 Having already won four Tony’s (being nominated for 6), she’s worthy of our admiration.

Judith Brock says:

Audra has been impressing us with her talent since she was in the Jr. Company at Roger Rocka’s Theater. What an amazing young girl. And we have watched with pride anytime we have seen her on PBS or read about her awards.
And to think she started right here in Fresno.

Amanda Henry says:

Audra is beautiful and incredibly talented. I would love to be able to see her in person and share that with someone else. Thank you :)

Kelly Lee says:

Audra is a-maze-balls! I can still NOT believe that she is from Fresno! I went to Roosevelt and was in the RSA program too so she is an inspiration about what can come out of the local arts! I’ve seen her PBS performances and my mind is BLOWN everytime she sings!

Juan Alvarado says:

I enjoy watching her on Private Practice as an actress and I would be honored to watch her sing Broadway tunes.

cjl says:

Audra is the “real deal”, meaning she’s incredibly talented along with being a gracious and wonderful human being. Would love a chance to see her “live” again!

Kathy says:

A Fresno girl comes home. I think that is really one of my favorite things about her. she has not forgotten us!

Olivia Palacio says:

I first heard Audra McDonald when she was about 13 or 14 years old, singing at a Fresno Unified district-wide meeting. As she sang, it became clear that she had an exceptional talent. I can only imagine what an inspiration she must be for Fresno-area youths in vocal music and acting programs.

Leah Gill says:

Audra is a shining example of success baed on long, hard work. You go, girl!

Karyl (Cindi) Rubin-Meacham says:

Before Broadway or Roger Rocker, there was a fourth grader-Audra McDonald, who helped her teacher, me, Mrs. Rubin, with the music and singing of “The Pied Piper of Hamlim” production at Gibson Elementary School. We were a success–a big “Thank you”, love and hugs to Audra for her help.

Anthony says:

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Kay Suddath says:

I have watched and listed to her since she was a young girl. It would be wonderful to see and hear her in person once again!

Claire L says:

My favorite memory of Audra is just after she won her second Tony. She rushed to my desk ( when I was working for a local theater company) to see pictures of my baby daughter. She’s just that down to Earth.

Liz Zemke says:

It is so refreshing to have Fresno known for a positive shining star. There are so many negatives brought out in the news, but Audra shines through…………….I’d love to see her concert. I’d have to grab a friend, as my hubby has Alzheimers and no longer enjoys concerts, plays, etc. Congratulations, Audra on the many awards…….love you in Private Practice too!

joanie4nature says:

Audra and my son went to school together from Kindergarten at Gibson, where they were Hansel and Gretel, through graduation from Roosevelt School of the Arts. We recognized her talent in the early years at Junior Company and knew we were right about her after she graduated from Julliard. She acts and sings magnificently. A real talent.

Anthony says:

Ms. McDonald is a shining example of success based on long, hard work. Go you girl!

Amelia Ryan says:

I’ve only lived in Fresno for 15 years, but I took my daughter to see Audra in concert at the Saroyan several years ago. We waited to meet her after the show and she couldn’t have been more gracious, even posing for a picture. I love the CD “How Glory Goes”–every cut’s a gem. And I think it’s wonderful she’ll be playing Bess on Broadway; the reviews are already fantastic.

Growing up singing, I’ve always admired Audra McDonald. I first saw her in the movie, Annie when I was in 8th grade. When I found out she was from Fresno that was exciting to me. To know that someone from my hometown followed all of her dreams and it inspired me to do the same. I continued throughout high school to be involved in the arts. I graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor’s in Music-vocal performance. I am currently Miss Fresno County 2011 and won the Non-finalist talent scholarship singing an opera aria at Miss California 2011. I want to sing on Broadway like Audra. I want to be an actress like Audra. She is a great inspiration to all young Classical singers. One of my favorite songs that she sings is “Bill” from Showboat! I also love her version of “Over The Rainbow.” She has a Classic voice which makes her timeless. I love her!

Grandma Pat says:

What can I say that hasn’t been said already about Audra. She is one in a million and she comes from Fresno. I do not have any personal history with her, but I would love to go and take someone with me who appreciates her as much as I do.

Miss P says:

I would love to see Audra perform, she’s an inspiration to Fresnans and

Donna says:

Audra is a shinning example of a military family girl who turned her life into one of a million. She not only has an incredible voice but great timing for comedy. The fact she is from Fresno proves great people come from great cities.

Sally says:

I’d love to see her do anything, even read the phone book aloud!

Andrew says:

Send me to the show, please.

Myrna McCoy says:

Audra was a standout at Roger Rocka’s from childhood, but for me, her most memorable role was in Evita. At age 16, her performance was so mature and totally believable, I knew then she was destined for stardom far beyond Fresno! Favorite song? Maybe “Your Daddy’s Hands” in Ragtime. So hauntingly beautiful.

Christine K says:

My husband and I moved to the Fresno area last year. I have read amazing reviews about the talented Ms. Audra McDonald. Having never had the pleasure of attending one of her shows, we would very much enjoy seeing and hearing such a lovely and talented woman perform.

Amanda says:

I would love to go to this. I remember seeing Audra at Roger Rockas back in the day.

Sally Rivera says:

Have always heard so many great things about her. Never had the chance to see her myself. What an opportunity to see such a great performer and Fresnan.

Keli says:

Audra McDonald makes Fresno PROUD!!

Gayle Libby says:

I would love to hear Audra sing. Her talent is amazing.

Becky says:

I was fortunate to see Audra perform on Broadway in Ragtime in 1998. She is multi-talented – outstanding singer, comfortable actor, and musically gifted. Truly a shining representative of the City of Fresno.

Denise C. says:

Audra helps put Fresno on the map in a GREAT way!

Michelle says:

I think she’s very talented and a wonderful representative of the Valley!

Sharon Welker says:

I would love to see Audra in Porgy and Bess. The songs from Porgy and Bess are some of my alltime favorites.

Gwen Connolly says:

I have enjoyed watching her since she was in GOOD COMPANY’s Jr. Company. My daughter loves to sing and would LOVE to go to this concert! What a GREAT local talent!

I remember Audra McDonald as Miss Grace Farrell
from my favorite all time movie “ANNIE”!

It would definetly be AMAZING to go see her in life !

* Thanks for putting on this contest !

Manjit says:

She is so talented. I am so proud to say she is from Fresno.

Dr. Patricia Lalim-Falcone says:

Audra was a happy wonderful little girl. I would bring my son to Ruth Gibson School. We would talk to her when her father dropped her off. Later when she attended Roosevelt School of Performing Arts my son, an Edison Computech student, would attend her plays, loved them, and actually thought of switching his major interests from Science and Music to the Theatre. Her positive impact on student and parents was great. Her former teachers loved her. When she returned from Julliard she would always visit her teachers and aspiring student performers to inspire and encourage them to set their sights high. She put Fresno on the map in the most positive way possible.

Vicki says:

She is a very talented singer and actress and I really enjoyed watching her on Private Practice.

Kylie says:

As a local performer myself, Audra has been the best possible type of inspiration!

Robin says:

I am very to have watch Audra grow up through the years with Good Company Players. It is breathtaking how far she has come!

Mike says:

I think Audra’s most impressive moment was her barrier-breaking casting in Carousel.

Cammy B says:

Can’t wait for Porgy and Bess.

Clayton says:

She is a true musician.

Yer Lee says:

Audra is amazing! She is such and inspirational figure! She’s not plastered on the tabloids like those other talentless people. Makes Fresno proud!

David Lee says:

Audra McDonald has what you call Class! She is amaze-balls! I LOVED her in Ragtime and can’t wait to hear here in Porgy and Bess!

Rosemary Selzer says:

Who says Fresno doesn’t produce! I would love to go see and hear her sing!

SA says:

It would be a treat to attend. I attended Roger Rockas to see her in Evita, but it was the night that the other star was doing the part.

John says:

She is phenomenally talented! Please pick me.

Jamie says:

My thoughts on Audra: GRACIOUS!!! My daughter had the fortune of performing with her in 2003 with CMT’s Believe in the Magic. After the performance, Audra stayed and took pictures with each individual child and family member. She also signed hundreds of autographs for the kids: programs, posters and ornaments. The ornament I hang on our Christmas tree every year reminds me of what a generous person she is.

willie alexander says:

Where to start audra McDonald is among the greatest singers who has ever been on broadway, and is one of my all time favorite singers. Her stage presence and voice just amaze me every time i see her, but my favorite performance byher was at the sondhiem birthday celebration when she sang,”the glamourose life,” just beautiful…love audra so much

Colleen McKenna says:

I am a teacher at RHS. A few years ago Audra McDonald took time out from her busy life to come to Roosevelt and speak to the kids. She was sweet, kind, and authentic. I also love her work with marriage equality in New York! My favorite song is “My Stupid Mouth.”

Steve Newvine says:

As great as Audra’s singing is, I have always been impressed with her acting. In particular, she played the assistant to a U S Senator (Josh Brolin) in a short-lived NBC series a few years ago. They both were good it, but she really impressed me as a gifted actress.

Debra Goodman says:

Audra is a lovely lady. A friend and I ran into her at the 2008 Emmy Awards. We went up to her and said “Hi Audra! We’re from Fresno!”. She was so gracious, she smiled and seemed excited to see people from “home”. My friend told Audra that her stepmother was involved with Good Company Players, and Audra said to tell her “Hello”. It’s not so much the fact that she’s famous, or beautiful, or has a fantastic voice, but that she is a kind and wonderful person that makes us proud of her.

Judith Palmer says:

I have thought she is so good and represents a good image for Fresno. A positive note for people to see of Fresno instead of all the bad for the bad people, she is such a good and positive image for Fresno, Her talent is amazing. Have never been able to make it to her concerts but would love to and I have a sister-in-law that would love it also.

henrythedog73 says:

she’s ggggrrreeeeaaaat!

Patricia Bennett says:

My family and I were very fortunate to see Audra in Ragtime on Broadway. My best memories of her, however, are of watching her interact with students at Roosevelt School of the Arts and with younger performers at Children’s Musical Theaterworks here in Fresno. It was a delight to hear her kind and thoughtful responses to their questions.

Tim Parker says:

I heard her at the Ford Center on 42nd St. in New York in Ragtime. My favorite song that afternoon was “Your Daddy’s Son.” As her beautiful voice soared out to the crowd of 1800 people, I thought of how lucky we are to be able to send our kids to the same theater program in Fresno that helped her become successful.

Ruben Elias says:

I first heard Audra when she was part of the Junior Good Company Players. She grew up before our eyes at Good Company and Roosevelt High School for the Performing Arts. She was fantastic!!! I come imagine she must be GREAT today!