*Audra McDonald, 45, will shuffle away from her role in Broadway’s “Shuffle Along” during the summer and fall months, because she is having a baby.
The six-time Tony winner on Tuesday announced she is expecting and will take maternity leave from the musical beginning on July 24. She’ll return to the Tony Award-nominated production this winter.
Her show explores the groundbreaking 95-year-old musical “Shuffle Along,” one of the first Broadway shows starring, written and directed by African-Americans and the first show with a jazz score.
“Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead to pregnancy? Will and I are completely surprised— and elated — to be expecting a new addition to our family,” McDonald said.
She added that she looked “forward to setting up a 1920s-themed nursery in my dressing room when I return to the show.”
In her absence, the role of Lottie Gee will be played by Grammy Award-winner Rhiannon Giddens. The production also said Savion Glover, the show’s choreographer, will step into the musical.
McDonald and her husband, actor Will Swenson, married in 2012. She has a daughter and he is a father to two sons from previous marriages.
Due to the stork’s impending arrival, McDonald also had to postpone taking her “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” to London.