If you were to ever meet me and you wanted to get me into a long conversation, then I suggest you begin with the topic of Audra McDonald.
Why? Because Audra McDonald is my favorite person on the planet 🙂
A gifted singer and actress, who has not only lit up the stage of broadway, there is an unbelievable passion for music that is displayed every time she opens her mouth. On April 19, 2015, I took the train for 11 hours from Montreal to the heart of New York City, just so I could sit inside the theatre and listen to this woman sing and the experience was absolutely worth it. She did not just meet my already high expectations but she surpassed it.
What makes her so fascinating is that she is the ultimate story teller and when she claims that her man has left her, when she sings about burying her baby in the backyard, when she tells you claims joy and heartache, you believe her. simply because somehow the emotional capacity of her spirit is so evident, an Audra McDonald song, will grab you by the neck and leave you with such a lingering sense of appreciation for life and all of it’s complexity. In fact whenever I am heading to the page, to craft a poem, I will often have her music playing in the background, in order to find inspiration. For this reason I want to share with you, five distinct Audra McDonald songs that have inspired me, moved me and ultimately left a definitive impact on my life.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow ( The Wizard Of Oz)
Although this song was originally sung by the Iconic Judy Garland and is really a classic. I love this version because it is so mellow and almost gives you the sensation that you are being transported to another place and time.
What Can You Lose/ Not A Day Goes By
With the exception Of Bernadette Peters heart wrenching performance of Not A Day Goes By. Audra’s performance of these two songs, is probably one of the most beautiful that I have ever heard. These are two songs that remind us the beauty of love is often found by those who are open to receiving it and sometimes we must push past fear, in order to receive all that the universe has to offer. It is reminder not let opportunities pass us by and to grab love, when it comes prancing by.
I can’t stop talking about him ( Let’s Dance)
This was the first song I ever heard her perform so therefore it is still my favourite. Anyone with the capacity to string so many words together, in rapid succession, is beyond gifted in my book.
My Book Jeff Blumencratz ( The 7 Deadly Sins Song Cycle at Carnagie Hall)
It is the comedic tone of “My Book” that I find absolutely fascinating. Interestingly enough this song was created as part of a song cycle called the 7 deadly sins, where audra performed 7 songs covering the human vices such as envy, greed, lust gluttony etc. My Book is all about the pitfall of procrastination
I’ll Be Here
I’ll Be Here, is a song that I have had on repeat for months. Inspired by the events of 9/11. I’ll be here is all about letting go of the past and moving forward into brighter and better things. It is the hope for a better tomorrow in the face of tragedy and a reminder to keep hope alive.