Other than Private Practice, I'd never seen Audra McDonald in anything else. Although I loved it her in that show, I was surprised when I recently read that Ms. McDonald might be one of the greatest performing artists of all time, especially because of her work on Broadway. A few weeks later I saw her interview with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) where this filmed version of the Broadway show was mentioned, and I decided to look it up.
Without question, Ms. McDonald's performance in this, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," left nothing to be argued. I was riveted. I love jazz. I love Billie Holiday. I love vocal performance. I love the theater. And I love film. This performance completely stole my heart and clenched my soul. I am totally in Ms. McDonald's debt for giving so much of herself to this role. It comes as absolutely no surprise that it earned her a record-breaking sixth Tony Award. If they could have given her two, they should have.