CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- There is a six-time Tony winner in the Village of Croton-On-Hudson.
Audra McDonald, a Croton resident, won her sixth Tony Sunday night, June 8, for her role as where plays legendary singer Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar And Grill." McDonald is the first actress to win six Tonys, breaking the record she tied with Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.
McDonald also became the first grand slam Tony winner. McDonald has now won best featured actress in a play ("Raisin' In The Sun," "Master Class"), best lead actress in a musical ("The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess"), and best featured actress in a musical ("Ragtime" and "Carousel"). McDonald has also won two Grammys, and appeared on "Private Practice."
Her Tony win is being applauded in her hometown where many theater groups look to her for inspiration.
"I think it’s incredible that she won her sixth Tony," Josh Karp, board member of the Croton Teen Theater, said. "She’s amazingly talented and definitely deserved to win. She is truly a remarkable voice and talent and great asset to our town. Many congratulations go out to her. Here’s to many more Tony's in her future. "
Karp said he thinks kids in Croton look to her as a role model .
"I would hope that her reputation as a Tony-winning actress could provide some boost to Croton’s theater scene," Karp said.
Liz Callaway and Tony winner George Hearn are other stage stars who have lived in Croton.
"Probably the best way to give a boost to theater would be to get some of these individuals involved, but given their schedules or desires to remain largely on the down low while not working, it can be a challenge," Karp said.
Denise Bessette, a producer at Hudson Stage, said they love McDonald, noting she performed at one of their fund-raisers. Bessette has had McDonald's daughter, Zoe, in her acting class.
"Zoe is a wonderful, beautiful, talented young lady," Bessette said. "It's an amazing coup and much-deserved for Audra to win this Tony."