Review: Audra McDonald Dazzles in The Ohio State Murders

December 8, 2022, 10:31.28 pm ET  

Review: Audra McDonald Dazzles in The Ohio State Murders

By Brian Scott Lipton

Audra McDonald’s uncanny ability to transform herself into other characters – from the sassy Maine factory worker Carrie Pipperidge to the tragically unhappy singer Billie Holiday – has earned her a record-setting six Tony Awards and the devotion of fans for almost 30 years. So, it’s not surprising to say she’s done it again – and could easily earn her seventh Tony Award – with her performance in the Broadway premiere of Adrienne Kennedy’s 70-minute quasi-monologue “The Ohio State Murders,” now at the newly renamed and refurbished James Earl Jones Theatre under Kenny Leon’s precise direction.

Review: Audra McDonald Dazzles in The Ohio State Murders
Photos: Richard Termine                                                                                      

Nonetheless, watching McDonald seemingly shed 30 years of life experience to “become” 1940s college student Suzanne Alexander is still mind-blowing. In just seconds, McDonald completely inhabits the prim, proper, seemingly virginal Suzanne (beautifully costumed by Dede Ayite) – just moments after portraying the grown-up Suzanne who (like Kennedy) has become a celebrated writer known for her use of violent imagery. It’s a performance that, like so many of McDonald’s previous ones, brilliantly blends technique and talent in a way few actors can. Continue reading...


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