Audra McDonald Reveals Her Inspiration For Frankie In 'Frankie and Johnny'

 
 

Michael Riedel and Christine Nagy chat with six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald who is currently starring in Broadway's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. The legendary Broadway icon described her process of starting a new show and new character,

I spent some time sitting in diners observing certain waitresses especially waitresses who had seemed like they had been there for a long time... Frankie very specifically says 'there's a whole other side of you I never saw when we were at work' she says that to Johnny and I'm like I'm wondering who is Frankie at work?... I snuck around to a couple of diners and spent some time and met one lady in particular that I fell in love with I just thought she was an amazing woman! She had no wedding ring on her finger, she was probably about 50 and someone had given me some flowers for another thing that I had to do in the morning before I went and sat in this diner. At the end of my time of kind of watching her without her realizing I said I've got these flowers and they're gorgeous and I just don't know what to do with them and I just I'm feeling overwhelmed with the idea of wanting to give them to you. Do you want these flowers? and she's like honey are you kidding and I was like no no I want you to have them to give them to you and she's like this is the sweetest thing thank you so much! She knew everybody's name and the diner I mean the customers as well and so she just kind of grabbed them and held on to them and she's like oh honey I'm gonna take care of them!

Is Audra the nicest human being or what? Later, they talk about how she prepares before the show and the challenges of the role. They also chat about McDonald working with Terrence McNally and Zoe Caldwell.

Check out the full interview above and listen to Inside Broadway below:

 

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