The biggest aspect of her performance was how all-encompassing it was. She very much puts across the notion of a person facing two choices. She knows one -- Crown -- is the worst thing in the world for her, and she can't help herself. The other -- Porgy -- could help save her. But it's so hard for her to say, "Save me." None of those words are ever said in the show, but it's all there in her performance. It's a very human emotion, and one can identify with it even if you've never lived on Catfish Row or been a heroin addict like Bess.
Musically, everything that comes out of her mouth is impressive. When I saw her after the show, she said to me, "Oh my gosh, I didn't know you were here." I answered, "What? You were going to be better?" It's not possible. Her sound is so glorious. She rides the fence between Broadway and classical. Her sound isn't just that of a beautiful soprano singing the score; there's also this raw meat underneath what she sings. The passion with which Audra sings and the layers that she brings to it are just so special. It was an utter thrill to see her and the rest of the cast. When they all opened their mouths as one, I thought, "Oh yeah, that's singing. Just beautiful."
Julia Murney is currently in the Vineyard Theatre's development lab production of John Kander's "The Landing." NYC theater credits include "Wicked," "Lennon," "The Wild Party" (Drama Desk nomination), and "Time and Again" (Lortel nomination). On TV, she's been on "30 Rock," "Brothers and Sisters," and all three "Law & Order" series.