Audra McDonald to be honored in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Audra McDonald, the six-time Tony Award winner, will return to Fresno this weekend where she'll be given a key to the city, and see her name permanently put on a theater, and a street sign.

"It's just a small token of our appreciation for not only her incredible career, and her incomparable talent, but the immense amount of pride the City of Fresno, in fact, the entire Central Valley has for somebody who is internationally known as one of the great performers in Broadway history," said Mark Standriff, the City of Fresno Director of Communications.

McDonald graduated from Roosevelt High School before being accepted into the renowned Julliard School in New York City. After that, the actress was on her way to Broadway, and her career took off.

With her visit to town this weekend, it's the perfect time for her alma matter to name a theater after her. The Roosevelt School of Arts theater will now be called the Audra McDonald theater, and she'll be there this weekend for the official ceremony to unveil the new name.

Not only is McDonald leaving her mark, but she'll also be performing with the Fresno Philharmonic at the Saroyan Theater in front of a sold-out audience on Saturday.

The section of M Street in front of the Saroyan will now be known as Audra McDonald Way, an honor approved by city officials at their city council meeting Thursday.

"Folks coming down to the Saroyan, not only for the concert on Saturday but from now on, that section of M Street will be honoring one of the great performers and really one of our hometown heroes," said Standriff

A Fresno Unified graduate, and now an Emmy and Grammy award winner, McDonald is not only leaving her mark on Hollywood and Broadway, but she's also leaving it on the city she grew up in. A legendary performer with a legacy in Fresno.
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