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From Fresno to Philly, Audra McDonald Is as Fabulous as Ever



Audra McDonald, shown performing in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, returns to California for concerts in November and December. (Jessica Griffin)
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PHILADELPHIA —Fresno is proud of Broadway superstar Audra McDonald. And, she is just as proud of her hometown.

Performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the city of Brotherly Love on Tuesday, McDonald sang to a sell-out crowd at Verizon Hall. She belted out her favorite Broadway hits in a performance that the Philadelphia Inquirer declared “enthralling.”

One man I sat next to said he’s attended a McDonald show 30 years in a row. Yet, he didn’t know she was from Fresno. If I didn’t tell him, she certainly did.

McDonald told a story about forming the group “All That Jazz” while at Roosevelt High School. As well as another story about an inappropriate song she sang at a contest in Reno.

With the wisdom of a 53-year-old, she told the audience that singing the sultry “Cornet Man,” made famous by Barbara Streisand in “Funny Girl,” probably wasn’t the best song for a 14-year-old.

After all, the lyrics start with “I just put the kids to sleep,” and include “he’s the only man can make my coffee percolate,” something that 14-year-old Audra didn’t quite get the meaning of. Nevertheless, she won the solo contest.

McDonald on Tour

McDonald honored Fresno again, dedicating “Home” from “The Wiz” to her hometown.

Her singing voice is amazing, a given. She also interacted easily with an audience of about 2,500. When she sang Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing),” she included participation from the orchestra and the crowd.

Her two-hour set included Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gershwins, Bernstein, and Sondheim.

McDonald is on tour, playing the rest of the week in Chicago and Cincinnati. She returns to California with dates in San Francisco (Nov. 29), Santa Barbara (Nov. 30), and Los Angeles (Dec. 2).

Audra McDonald performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (Jessica Griffin)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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