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Audra McDonald - 5/19 - Emilio Madrid

Odds & Ends: Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone & André De Shields to Receive Special Theatre World Awards

June 23rd, 2021 | By Lindsey Sullivan

Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed recently.

André De Shields (Photo by Emilio Madrid for

Trio of Broadway Greats Earn Special Theatre World Awards
As previously announced, the 76th annual Theatre World Awards ceremony toasting outstanding Broadway and off-Broadway debuts was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally scheduled for June 1, 2020 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. In hopes of an in-person ceremony for next June, the organization will recognize some Broadway legends with a special virtual benefit on July 11 at 7PM ET. Theatre World alum Audra McDonald will receive the Dorothy Loudon Special Award for Excellence in the Theater. The Theatre World Awards will also honor Patti LuPone and André De Shields with the eighth annual John Willis Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Elsie Fest Returns August 29 in Brooklyn
The 2021 edition of the outdoor musical celebration Elsie Fest will take place on August 29 at the 2021 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The news was announced on Twitter and retweeted by founder Darren Criss.

The concert celebrates stars and songs from the stage and screen, giving festival-goers a unique experience to enjoy their favorite musicals. Performers and guests will be announced at a later time.

Winners & Finalists Announced for Columbia@Roundabout’s New Play Reading Series
The Roundabout Theatre Company and Columbia University School of the Arts have announced the winners of Columbia@Roundabout’s 2021 New Play Reading Series, which awards three playwrights from the current MFA program and recent alumni with cash prizes as well as a reading produced by Roundabout. Five finalists have also received cash prizes in recognition of their work. The winning playwrights are Adam North (Central Air), Kate Pressman (Piano for Four Hands) and Alaudin Ullah (The Halal Brothers). Finalists include A.A. Brenner (Blanche and Stella), Justin Aaron Halle (Cowgirl), Julián Mesri (Immersion), Alle Mims (Pink) and Paola Alexandra Soto (The Sosa Sisters). The New Play Reading Series will be held from July 26 through July 30. Readings will be open to industry members and other guests by invitation only.

Laurie Metcalf (Photo by Emilio Madrid for

Laurie Metcalf & More Lend Voices to Netflix Spy Series Q-Force
Two-time Tony winner Laurie Metcalf as well as Tony nominees Sean Hayes and David Harbour have joined the voice cast for Netflix’s animated LGBTQ+ spy series Q-Force. The Wrap reports that the 10-episode series is set to premiere on September 2 and follows Hayes’ character Steve Maryweather, a.k.a. Agent Mary, who was once the Golden Boy of the American Intelligence Agency (AIA), until he came out as gay. Unable to fire him, the agency sent him off to West Hollywood to disappear into obscurity. Instead, he assembled a misfit squad of LGBTQ+ geniuses. Joining forces with the expert mechanic Deb (Wanda Sykes), master of drag and disguise Twink (Matt Rogers) and hacker Stat (Patti Harrison), together they’re Q-Force. Harbour will voice the character of Agent Rick Buck, a longtime rival of Hayes’ character, assigned to keeping Q-Force in check. Metcalf plays V, the Deputy Director of the AIA and the highest-ranking woman in the agency.

Watch the Music Video for Jennifer Nettles’ Oklahoma! Revamp
As previously reported, the Jennifer Nettles has a new album coming out with covers theater fans will enjoy. Always Like New is set for release on Concord Records on June 25 and features arrangements by three-time Tony winner Alex Lacamoire. The record includes Nettles singing songs from Hamilton, The Bridges of Madison County, Annie, Guys and Dolls and more. Watch her take on “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'” from Oklahoma! with the Broadway Inspirational Voices below.

P.S. Season two of Modern Love, which will be packed with Broadway stars, is set to premiere on Amazon on August 13.


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