Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell to Lead Kennedy Center's 2020 Gala | Playbill

Benefits and Galas Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell to Lead Kennedy Center's 2020 Gala The Tony Award winners and Ragtime co-stars will headline the March event.
Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Tony Award winner and honoree Brian Stokes Mitchell and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will headline an intimate evening at this year’s Kennedy Center Gala, set for March 24.

Beginning with cocktails and dinner at the Kennedy Center’s new REACH annex, the evening will feature performances by the two stars singing standards as well as the Broadway tunes for which they’re best known. The gala provides financial support and awareness for the Kennedy Center’s performances, local and national arts education initiatives, and community outreach programs.

Gala packages are available for purchase here, as well as performance-only tickets, beginning at $79. Performance-only tickets go on sale to members February 12 and to the general public February 13.

McDonald and Mitchell starred alongside each other in Broadway’s Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, as well as the beloved Ragtime as Sarah and Coalhouse Walker, Jr. The pair will reunite with other members of the original cast of the latter for a one-night-only concert reunion to benefit The Actors Fund April 27. Mitchell is the Chairman of the Board of The Actors Fund.

READ: Where Is the Cast of Broadway’s Original Ragtime Now?

Most recently seen on Broadway in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, McDonald has appeared in 12 Broadway shows. She made her Broadway debut in The Secret Garden. Soon after, she played Carrie Pipperidge in the 1994 revival of Carousel, and earned the first of her Tony Awards. The actor has also received Tonys for Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She is currently a regular on CBS All Access’ The Good Fight. She will be a guest performer on Playbill Travel’s cruise on the Nile River. And, just announced, McDonald will star as Blanche Du Bois in the upcoming summer production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Mitchell is a past performer for Playbill Travel. Prior to Shuffle Along, he starred on Broadway opposite Patti LuPone and Sherie Renee Scott in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Next up, he’ll star opposite Kate Baldwin in the Encores! staging of Love Life. The actor is a four-time Tony nominee for Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate (which he won), King Hedley II, and Man of La Mancha. He was also honored with the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award in 2016 for his humanitarian work tied to theatre. He recently released a new symphonic solo album: Plays With Music.

Listen to a Track From Brian Stokes Mitchell’s Upcoming Solo Album Plays With Music

Look Back at the Original Production of Ragtime

Cabins are now on sale for Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise featuring Kate Baldwin, Tedd Firth, Aaron Lazar, and Beth Leavel (April 26–May 4, 2020), and for Broadway on the Mediterranean (August 31–September 7, 2020), featuring Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Gavin Creel, Caissie Levy, and Lindsay Mendez, and for Broadway on the Nile (December 27, 2020–January 7, 2021) and Broadway on the Caribbean (February 15–22, 2021), with performers soon to be announced. To book a suite or stateroom, call Playbill Travel at 866-455-6789 or visit


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