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Broadway great McDonald to 'Shuffle' back to Broadway

Also in Tattle: Univision fires host for ‘Apes’ remark, Doisney to freeze again, Clapton to strum at 70

TATTLE rarely leads with Broadway news, but six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald is returning to Broadway a year from now and the Great White Way will be a little less white.

Producer Scott Rudin said yesterday that Audra will star next March in a show that looks at the making of the 1921 hit "Shuffle Along," one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans.

The show - to be called "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed" - will have a story by George C. Wolfe and be choreographed by Savion Glover. The duo last worked together on the 1996 hit "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk."

Previews are to begin March 14, 2016, at the Music Box Theatre.

"Shuffle Along," with music and lyrics by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, has a score that includes the songs "(I'm Just) Wild About Harry," "Love Will Find a Way," "Bandana Days" and "Shuffle Along." The cast featured Paul Robeson and Florence Mills, and Josephine Baker joined the tour.

The dance-heavy show centers on a three-way mayor's race in a small Southern town. It played some 500 performances and attracted the likes of George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson and Langston Hughes.

Gotta say, sounds pretty cool.

And according to the New York Public Library, the idea for the show was born at a 1920 NAACP fundraiser in Philadelphia, by vaudevillians Flournoy E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, who approached Sissle and Blake with an idea to flesh out one of their sketches.

Univision cans host

Tattle remains consistently amazed by the public behavior of people in our everything-is-on-YouTube era.

Those Oklahoma University students singing the racist song? What were you thinking?

Lindsay Lohan using the N-word in a tweet? What were you thinking?

Univision talk show host Rodner Figueroa deciding to compare the first lady to a simian movie character? Really, dude?

Tattle has no idea about Figueroa's views on race, but if Giuliana Rancic got in trouble on "Fashion Police" for saying a young actress with dreadlocks looked like she smelled of patchouli oil, what could possibly prompt Figueroa to say on TV that Michelle Obama looks like someone from the cast of "Planet of the Apes."

How could he not think he would not get fired?

Figueroa, who was known by people who knew who he was, for his biting fashion commentary, made his remarks during a live segment of the show "El Gordo y la Flaca" in which the hosts were commenting on a viral video that shows a makeup artist transforming himself into different celebrities, including Michelle Obama.

"Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she's from the cast of 'Planet of the Apes,' the movie," Figueroa said with a giggle.

When hostess Lili Estefan countered with "What are you saying?" and host Raul de Molina said that Obama was very attractive, Figueroa defended his remark, saying, "But it is true."

In a statement, Univision called its fired employee's comments "completely reprehensible" and said they "in no way reflect the values or opinions of Univision."


* The Walt Disney Co. announced plans at the company's annual shareholder's meeting yesterday to make a sequel to the animated mega-hit "Frozen."

No surprise there.

Investors, in turn, drove Disney's stock price up $4.28 a share, increasing the company's market value by billions.

Elsa may be cold, but Wall Street thinks she's hot.

Disney also announced a release date for "Star Wars: Episode VIII" of May 26, 2017, and the "Star Wars" stand-alone "Rogue One," starring Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything," "Hysteria"), will be out Dec. 16, 2106.

Eric Clapton will celebrate his 70th birthday with two shows at Madison Square Garden in May.

The iconic guitarist announced yesterday that he will perform at the famed New York City venue May 1-2. He turns 70 on March 30.

The Garden said that concert dates could change due to the NBA playoffs - as if there's any chance the Knicks could be in the playoffs.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.