'Private Practice' Star Audra McDonald Joining 'Porgy and Bess' Musical

10:30 PM PST 03/22/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke

The actress, who is departing ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff at the end of this season, says she's going back to her theater roots.

Departing Private Practice star Audra McDonald says she has lined up her next role.

The actress, who is leaving ABC's medical series at the end of this season, told Playbill.com she will star in a new production of the George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward opera Porgy and Bess. The four-time Tony winner will play Bess in the American Repertory Theater production in September.
 
"I'm looking forward to it; I feel like I'm old enough," McDonald said.
 
Theater reps would not confirm the news but previously told Playbill.com that McDonald was in talks to star in the production, which tells the story of Porgy, a crippled beggar, and his love for Bess. The new production is reportedly being reimagined as a musical for contemporary audiences.
 
McDonald has played Dr. Naomi Bennett on Grey's Anatomy spinoff Private Practice since it debuted in 2007. She announced her departure last month, saying she wanted to be closer to her family in New York.
 
The actress has received Tonys for her roles in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun.

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