Audra McDonald and Will Swenson
Audra McDonald and Will Swenson

Broadway star Audra McDonald is going to ‘shuffle’ off stage for a short break – the star of Shuffle Along is pregnant!   McDonald, who is 45, shared the news of her pregnancy joy with humor. “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.”

The singer and actress will take maternity leave from Shuffle Along – one of the first Broadway shows starring, written, and directed by African-Americans – before returning in late July.  She will also postpone her appearance at the West End’s production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in London.

The six-time Tony Award winner told “I am so very grateful to everyone in New York and London for allowing me to rearrange my schedule to accommodate this little miracle. While I’m disappointed I have to postpone my West End debut in Lady Day, I’m glad I’ll be able to spend a little more time in Shuffle Along this summer and will look forward to setting up a 1920s-themed nursery in my dressing room when I return to the show.”

This will be the first child for the couple, who have been married for four years, though each have children from previous marriages.  Audra has a daughter named Zoe, and Will has two sons, Bridger and Sawyer.

McDonald has won a record-breaking six Tony Awards for her work in Lady Day, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, Master Class, and Carousel. She will soon be seen as the Wardrobe in Disney’s live-action production of Beauty and the Beast.