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André De Shields

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Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx

                                     at Feinstein's/54 Below
Live Performances are August 3-7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. 
                            Live Stream on August 7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
 
Entire Production Conceived, Written and Directed by 
 ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS
Additional Material by  
MURRAY HORWITZ
Music Direction
SEAN MAYES
 
 
 
Featuring 
Kimberly Marable
Lori Tishfield
Freida Williams
 

Costume Design CHRISTINA COCCHIARA    

Headdress Design DEBRA SCOTTI

Celebratory Umbrella Design by BRENDAN NCCANN 

Production Supervisor SAMUEL-MOSES JONES

Videography MICHAEL D'ANGORA

Photographer/Archivist LIA CHANG

          

 

 
Photo credit: Lia Chang
 
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Tony Grammy and Emmy winning Hadestown star André De Shields is making his highly anticipated Feinstein's/54 Below solo debut with Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx, a stylish new show that showcases the wit, elegance, and charm that the master entertainer has become known for, August 3-7, 2021.

Feinstein's/54 Below will live stream André De Shields: Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx on the final night of his weeklong engagement on Saturday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. André will be joined by vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, and Freida Williams, with Music Director Sean Mayes on piano and Rudy Bird on percussion. Tickets are $25. Click here to purchase tickets for the livestream. 

André shared, "I am an Artist. Artists possess creative muscle that grows both stronger and more supple the greater the challenging conundrum. That said, throughout the preceding seventeen months I have imagined myself as Oedipus during his mythic journey. When he came upon the city of Thebes--where his destiny would rise up to meet him--unbeknownst to him, he had been metamorphosed into an ambassador, representing the Family of Man, before the Massive Sphinx, who would pose the most inscrutable of all riddles. The riddle was asked of any who wished to enter Thebes. If you could answer the riddle, you were granted entry, but if you could not answer the riddle, the Sphinx would eat you. Now, substitute the COVID pandemic for the Sphinx. Still, nobody has the answer. What I have is a pandemic diary, and its entries have inspired me to create Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx. I am accompanied on this journey by the following members of the Family of Man: photographer/archivist Lia Chang, production supervisor Samuel-Moses Jones, co-writer Murray Horwitz, vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield and Freida Williams, percussionist Rudy Bird, and musical director/pianist Sean Mayes. We are because you are."


Song List

"Mau Mau Bett Chant" - Traditional Haitian Chant

Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"None of Us Are Free" - Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"People Get Ready" - Mayfield

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"Declaration" - Thomas Jefferson

Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"Shambala" - Daniel Moore

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"Takin' it to The Streets" - Michael McDonald

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"I'm So Excited" (The Pointer Sisters, Trevor Lawrence)/"Boogie Rap" (André De Shields)/"Mary Mack" (Traditional Children's Rhyme)

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"The Tragic Mulatto" - André De Shields

Lori Tishfield

"Sistah Girl" (Sings the Madame C. J. Walker Blues) - André De Shields

Kimberly Marable

"Now is The Time" - André De Shields

Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"The Reverend I.M. Randy" - André De Shields and Murray Horwitz

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"L-O-V-E" - André De Shields

André De Shields, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams

"Say You Love Me" - D.J. Rogers

Freida Williams

"Breathe" - George Floyd

André De Shields

 

 


Who's Who


Cast

André De Shields

Actor/Writer/Director 
Kimberly Marable

Singer
Lori Tishfield

Singer
Freida Williams

Singer

Creative Team

André De Shields

Conceiver/Director/Writer
Murray Horwitz

Additional Material
Sean Mayes

Music Director/Piano
Rudy Bird

Percussion
Christina Cocchiara

Costume Designer
Debra Scotti

Headdress Design
Brendan McCann

Celebratory Umbrella Design
Michael D'Angora

Videographer
Samuel-Moses Jones

Production Supervisor
Lia Chang

Photographer/Archivist/Director of Social Media

Meet the Company


André De Shields (Actor/Writer/Director )

A showstopper at the age of 75, André De Shields was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards for his role as universally praised role as the messenger to the gods, Hermes, in Hadestown. In an illustrious career that has spanned more than half a century, De Shields has distinguished himself as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright and educator. His notable theatrical appearances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony nomination), Play On! (Tony nomination), Ain't Misbehavin' (Emmy Award) and the title role in The Wiz.

De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the ’70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue André De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne. More recent cabaret appearances have included Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, Joe’s Pub, Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York, Old School Square’s Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Fl. and Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. He is a recipient of the 2018 Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award.

De Shields recently starred in the title role of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival's King Lear.

On opening night, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones issued a Mayoral Proclamation naming June 4, 2021 as "King Lear/André De Shields Day". New York Senator Brad Hoylman presented Mr. De Shields with a Senate Proclamation on April 8th, 2021 proclaiming the day “André De Shields Appreciation Day”. The surprise proclamation was arranged by producer Tom D’Angora to honor the extensive charity work and activism, along with the public appearances, Mr. De Shields has done for the community this year.

De Shields is the recipient of the 2021 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In 2020, he received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. 2019 honors include The Actors' Equity Foundation Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors' best supporting performances of the year, the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, and The York Theatre Company's 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, among others. He was also inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Other accolades include the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV roles include Keys, who first appeared in a 2014 episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” He has also appeared on “Law and Order” twice, as Dr. Elvin Simmonds (Custody ,1996) and Mr. Miller (Cost of Capital,2006); Dale Rustin on NBC’s “New Amsterdam”; Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch”  on Netflix; Chubby in “Katy Keene” on the CW; and Wyndham on “Almost Family.” He stars in Foxing's new music video, Draw Down the Moon, and can be heard on the podcasts Live From Mount Olympus as Hermes and One Speckled Hen. 

He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch and Carl Andress' comedy film, The Sixth Reel, which will have its World Premiere at Outfest LA on August 19.

 

Andre_DeShields
andre_deshields
Kimberly Marable (Singer)

Kimberly Marable was an original cast member of HADESTOWN on Broadway where she understudied Persephone and a Fate. Additional Broadway/International Touring credits include THE LION KING, THE BOOK OF MORMON, SISTER ACT, DREAMGIRLS, HAIRSPRAY, and THE WEDDING SINGER.

Pre-Broadway development: HADESTOWN, PAL JOEY with Marin Mazzie & Patina Miller, and THE WANDERER with NKOTB's Joey McIntyre. She has appeared on CBS' FBI & BULL, and NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series. You can hear Kimberly as Lorelai in the Netflix Anime series, CANNON BUSTERS, and as a promotional voice for a number of TV networks. Brooklyn born & raised. Dartmouth College grad. Kimberly co-founded Broadway Serves, which provides theater professionals with community service opportunities. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead program, and recently joined the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

 

misskimizzo/
https:/instagram.com/misskimizzo
Lori Tishfield (Singer)

Lori Tishfield is a storyteller, entrepreneur (naturaltalent.co), and endlessly grateful to meet the Wizahhhhhd. Favorite credits include "Orange is the New Black," Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Lyric Stage of Boston), Sweeney Todd (NJPAC), The Time Machine (NYMF), Paris Through The Window (Abingdon Theatre Co.), Neighbors (CompanyOne). BFA: The Boston Conservatory

LoriTishfield
loritishfield
Freida Williams (Singer)

Freida Williams’ show biz resume as a singer/performer includes; several Broadway shows, commercials, music videos, recordings, national theater, international concerts and nightclubs. She has also performed at the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards and the MTV Music Awards. 

Some of the high-profile stars Freida has worked with are: Annie Lennox, Patti LaBelle, Bette Midler, Ann Reinking and Anita Baker! 

She has received notable reviews in Europe where she has performed her solo concerts and club engagements and also where her German produced CD “Go the distance keep the faith” was well received. 

Singing and performing while traveling around the work in various countries including; Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada and England has been a wonderful and enlightening experience! 

One of the highlights of my career was getting a personal phone call from Mick Jagger, about auditioning to sing for one of his tours! 

Special Mention: I must say, working with Andre De Shields off and on for many years, continues to be a great learning experience for me! 

 

Sean Mayes (Music Director/Piano)

Sean Mayes is a New York & Toronto-based music director, conductor, educator, and academic. As a music director & conductor, his work has involved productions in theatres and on stages across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Mr Mayes is an active member of the Broadway community as a music director, vocal coach, accompanist, arranger-orchestrator & pit musician.

In Spring 2019, Mr Mayes served as Conductor & Music Director of the Canadian Regional Premiere of The Color Purple. Upcoming engagements include Assistant Conductor of upcoming MJ (Fall 2021) on Broadway, as well as Musical Supervisor of the Finnish Premiere of COME FROM AWAY (Fall 2021).

In New York, he is also a proud music director within education circles at Disney Theatrical Group, The New York Pops and New York City Center.

As a vocal & instrumental arranger, his work has been performed by musicians in ensembles across North America & Europe. Mr Mayes is currently Director of Music at the Fourth Universalist Society in NYC, where he oversees and supervises the rich musical life of one of the most active multi-faith congregations in the city with a rotation of some of the best musicians New York City has to offer.

RESUME

Mr Mayes is Part-Time Professor of Musical Theatre at Sheridan College in Canada, and has taught as a guest theatre instructor at various musical theatre institutions, including the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Marymount College Manhattan, and the Guildford School of Acting, UK. His work in scholarship has arrived at numerous academic conferences for various organizations, not limited to the Association For Theatre In Higher Education, the Forum on Theatre Education and the Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance. 


Mr Mayes’ leading writing and scholarship is uniquely attuned to the current conversation of unpacking systemic issues surrounding representation in theatre. Mr Mayes is a published author on the role of Black music directors and minoritized artists on Broadway (Reframing the Musical, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and on the retracing of Black practitioners through British musical theatre history (An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre, Bloomsbury, 2021). 


Mr Mayes holds degrees in music, education & music direction from McGill University and the University of Surrey, UK.

https://seanmayesmusic.com/

seanmayesmd
https:/instagram.com/seanmayesmd
Brendan McCann (Celebratory Umbrella Design)

Brendan has been designing for projects in New York for almost ten years. His work has been seen Off Broadway and beyond. Most recently, he designed one of the looks for Miss Southern Tallahassee for the Miss Florida USA pageant. During the COVID-19 pandemic, using only materials around his apartment, Brendan created two dresses inspired by the postponed 2020/2021 Met Galas which were featured on Today.com and Inside Edition. This fall, he will be returning to his alma mater, Wagner College, to costume design Into The Woods directed by Tony Award Winner Michele Pawk. In the upcoming months he will also be releasing his second single, “Gold Plates” which will be available on all music streaming platforms. He thanks André De Shields and the BBPD family for such a wonderful and collaborative opportunity. 

@brenbash
https:/instagram.com/@bren_bash
Lia Chang (Photographer/Archivist/Director of Social Media)

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

liachang
liachangphotography

Multimedia



Rudy Bird, Lori Tishfield, André De Shields, Freida Williams, Samuel-Moses Jones, Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes at Feinstein's 54 Below. Photo by Lia Chang


André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang


André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang


Murray Horwitz and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang


Sean Mayes, Freida Williams, Lori Tishfield, Kimberly Marable, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang


Freida Williams, Lori Tishfield, André De Shields, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang


1st Row: Samuel-Moses Jones and Sean Mayes. 2nd Row: Rudy Bird, Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang


"None Of Us Are Free"

In Rehearsal for BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

Video: In Rehearsal For André De Shields: BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND at Feinstein's/54 Below

Feinstein's/54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club, is presenting André De Shields in BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, August 3-7 at 7:00 p.m. De Shields is making his highly anticipated Feinstein's/54 Below solo debut with BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, a stylish new show that showcases the wit, elegance, and charm that the master entertainer has become known for.

De Shields will be joined by vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, and Freida Williams, with Music Director Sean Mayes on piano and Rudy Bird on percussion.

There is a $70 - $ 80 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. VIP Seating is $105 and Premium Tickets are $125. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Click here for tickets.

Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street in New York.

If you are not in New York, Feinstein's/54 Below is presenting a live stream of André De Shields: BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND on the final night of his weeklong engagement on Saturday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25. Click here to purchase tickets for the livestream.

De Shields shared, "I am an Artist. Artists possess creative muscle that grows both stronger and more supple the greater the challenging conundrum. That said, throughout the preceding seventeen months I have imagined myself as Oedipus during his mythic journey. When he came upon the city of Thebes--where his destiny would rise up to meet him--unbeknownst to him, he had been metamorphosed into an ambassador, representing the Family of Man, before the Massive Sphinx, who would pose the most inscrutable of all riddles. The riddle was asked of any who wished to enter Thebes. If you could answer the riddle, you were granted entry, but if you could not answer the riddle, the Sphinx would eat you. Now, substitute the COVID pandemic for the Sphinx. Still, nobody has the answer. What I have is a pandemic diary, and its entries have inspired me to create Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx. I am accompanied on this journey by the following members of the Family of Man: photographer/archivist Lia Chang, production supervisor Samuel-Moses Jones, co-writer Murray Horwitz, vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield and Freida Williams, percussionist Rudy Bird, and musical director/pianist Sean Mayes. We are because you are."

The creative team also includes Costume Design by Christina Cocchiara, headdresses by Debra Scotti, umbrellas by Brendan McCann, and videography by Michael D'Angora.

Check out the sneak peek of rehearsal below.

Video embed code

A showstopper at the age of 75, De Shields was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards for his role as universally praised role as the messenger to the gods, Hermes, in Hadestown. In an illustrious career that has spanned more than half a century, De Shields has distinguished himself as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright and educator. His notable theatrical appearances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony nomination), Play On! (Tony nomination), Ain't Misbehavin' (Emmy Award) and the title role in The Wiz.

De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the '70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy's, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue André De Shields' Haarlem Nocturne. More recent cabaret appearances have included Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, Joe's Pub, Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York, Old School Square's Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Fl. and Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. He is a recipient of the 2018 Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award.

De Shields recently starred in the title role of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival's King Lear. On opening night, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones issued a Mayoral Proclamation naming June 4, 2021 as "King Lear/André De Shields Day". New York Senator Brad Hoylman presented Mr. De Shields with a Senate Proclamation on April 8th, 2021 proclaiming the day "André De Shields Appreciation Day". The surprise proclamation was arranged by producer Tom D'Angora to honor the extensive charity work and activism, along with the public appearances, Mr. De Shields has done for the community this year.

De Shields is the recipient of the 2021 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In 2020, he received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. 2019 honors include The Actors' Equity Foundation Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors' best supporting performances of the year, the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, and The York Theatre Company's 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, among others. He was also inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young in August, 2019. Other accolades include the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV roles include Keys, who first appeared in a 2014 episode of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." He has also appeared on "Law and Order" twice, as Dr. Elvin Simmonds (Custody,1996) and Mr. Miller (Cost of Capital,2006); Dale Rustin on NBC's "New Amsterdam"; Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in "John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch"a?? on Netflix; Chubby in "Katy Keene" on the CW; and Wyndham on "Almost Family." He stars in Foxing's new music video, Draw Down the Moon, and can be heard on the podcasts Live From Mount Olympus as Hermes and One Speckled Hen. He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch and Carl Andress' comedy film, The Sixth Reel, which will have its World Premiere at Outfest LA at DGA 1, 7920 Sunset Blvd, LA, CA on August 19. Click here for tickets. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com

Live from Feinstein's/54 Below was designed to make more shows accessible to fans from across the globe. Seven cameras will capture the excitement of being at the venue - all paired with the club's dramatic lighting and award-winning sound design. To recreate the live experience, all shows will be presented exclusively at the time of performance with an in-house audience and will not be available on demand afterwards.

For tickets visit https://events.broadwayworld.com/.


André De Shields Will Appear in BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND at Feinstein's/54 Below

FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, presents André De Shields IN BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, August 3-7. De Shields is making his highly anticipated Feinstein's/54 Below solo debut with BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, a stylish new show that showcases the wit, elegance, and charm that the master entertainer has become known for.

De Shields shared, "I am an Artist. Artists possess creative muscle that grows both stronger and more supple the greater the challenging conundrum. That said, throughout the preceding seventeen months I have imagined myself as Oedipus during his mythic journey. When he came upon the city of Thebes--where his destiny would rise up to meet him--unbeknownst to him, he had been metamorphosed into an ambassador, representing the Family of Man, before the Massive Sphinx, who would pose the most inscrutable of all riddles. The riddle was asked of any who wished to enter Thebes. If you could answer the riddle, you were granted entry, but if you could not answer the riddle, the Sphinx would eat you. Now, substitute the COVID pandemic for the Sphinx. Still, nobody has the answer. What I have is a pandemic diary, and its entries have inspired me to create Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx. I am accompanied on this journey by the following members of the Family of Man: photographer/archivist Lia Chang, production supervisor Samuel-Moses Jones, co-writer Murray Horwitz, vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield and Freida Williams, percussionist Rudy Bird, and musical director/pianist Sean Mayes. We are because you are."

A showstopper at the age of 75, De Shields was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards for his role as universally praised role as the messenger to the gods, Hermes, in Hadestown. In an illustrious career that has spanned more than half a century, De Shields has distinguished himself as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright and educator. His notable theatrical appearances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony nomination), Play On! (Tony nomination), Ain't Misbehavin' (Emmy Award) and the title role in The Wiz.

De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the '70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy's, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue André De Shields' Haarlem Nocturne. More recent cabaret appearances have included Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, Joe's Pub, Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York, Old School Square's Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Fl. and Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. He is a recipient of the 2018 Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award.

De Shields recently starred in the title role of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival's King Lear. On opening night, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones issued a Mayoral Proclamation naming June 4, 2021 as "King Lear/André De Shields Day". For a limited time, the 2021 Shakespeare in the Park production of King Lear will be available online, July 28 - August 1. Revisit the production or watch for the first time signing up for access here.

New York Senator Brad Hoylman presented Mr. De Shields with a Senate Proclamation on April 8th, 2021 proclaiming the day "André De Shields Appreciation Day". The surprise proclamation was arranged by producer Tom D'Angora to honor the extensive charity work and activism, along with the public appearances, Mr. De Shields has done for the community this year.

De Shields is the recipient of the 2021 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In 2020, he received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. 2019 honors include The Actors' Equity Foundation Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors' best supporting performances of the year, the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, and The York Theatre Company's 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, among others. He was also inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young in August, 2019. Other accolades include the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV roles include Keys, who first appeared in a 2014 episode of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." He has also appeared on "Law and Order" twice, as Dr. Elvin Simmonds (Custody,1996) and Mr. Miller (Cost of Capital,2006); Dale Rustin on NBC's "New Amsterdam"; Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in "John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch" on Netflix; Chubby in "Katy Keene" on the CW; and Wyndham on "Almost Family." He stars in Foxing's new music video, Draw Down the Moon, and can be heard on the podcasts Live From Mount Olympus as Hermes and One Speckled Hen.

He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch and Carl Andress' comedy film, The Sixth Reel, which will have its World Premiere at Outfest LA on August 19. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com

André De Shields in BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND plays Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street), August 3-7, 2021. There is a $70 - $80 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. VIP Seating is $105 and Premium Tickets are $125. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Click here for tickets. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.


BWW Review: Andre De Shields Takes 54 Below Audience To Church And Back With BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

Last night when his new show BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND debuted at 54 Below, Andre De Shields remarked that he received a Tony Award at the age of seventy-five. It was more than a passing remark because the fact that he has a Tony is of significance, as is the fact that it took them so long to give him one... but he does have one, and he got it when he was seventy-five and all of this is significant. It's more than these things, though. Because Andre De Shields is seventy-five, he has had a remarkable opportunity in life: Andre De Shields has seen it all. More to the point, Andre De Shields has done it all. So, like a magnificent, rare, beautiful, black bird of paradise, Andre De Shields is enormously informed on a wealth of subjects that make him Broadway's great gay grandaddy, and he arrives everywhere he goes in the most incomparable style, the most inimitable splendor, ready to preach the word and teach the world. His isn't the kind of sermon one usually hears in a church, and his aren't the sort of lessons to be learned in a schoolroom, but where Andre the Giant goes, there is change left behind. Turning his life and his art into both pulpit and podium, Mr. De Shields uses religion and spirituality, politics and people, opera and oratory to comment on that which has come before, all that is happening now, and a dream of a future that is on its way but that will take an ongoing Herculean effort to bring into the light.

BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND is sold as an evening of cabaret and, indeed, the production is playing one of Manhattan's premiere cabaret rooms or, with the elegance and cache of the venue, supper clubs, and, as cabaret goes, BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND is great theater. Theater is everywhere you look, every day, if you look for it. Church is theater. Politics is theater. Protest is theater. Andre De Shields is theater. In fact, Andre De Shields may be the most theatrical person on earth. Sorry Adam Lambert, sorry RuPaul, sorry Billy Porter - we love you and all your flamboyant individuality, but Andre De Shields got there first. All of the theatrical and flamboyant people of the world are here because Andre De Shields was here first, paving the ground and lighting the way. That is because Andre De Shields knows who he is and what he is about, as he has always done, and that knowledge informs everything he creates, especially when it comes to his nightclub storytelling. In the extremely generous ninety minutes Mr. De Shields gifts to his audience (and even though this is a show for which one pays, it is, every bit of it, a gift from De Shields to us) all of himself - his singing, his dancing, his well-earned opinions, and his well-learned wisdom. Without once looking at a script, tablet, or prompter of any kind, Mr. De Shields uses his time on stage to talk at length about the state of the world, the global health crisis, the black experience, HIS black experience, and the importance of leaning into kindness, and generosity, and love. Although Mr. De Shields is a man who makes his living singing and dancing, no concern hangs in the air over the over-abundance of rhetoric because every word spoken comes from a place of truth, and truth is above all else. Each sentence, every thought, all the themes are absorbed by the audience and the energy sent back into the air, telling Mr. De Shields that he could, that he should keep talking, which is exactly what he does.

And then it is time to sing, once more, to dance, once more. He does that, too.

Mr. De Shields has divided his show into two acts, naturally, and though his mission statement as an artist is to tell stories that will illuminate, he makes great good use of the works of other artists before turning to his own. Painstakingly pronouncing the names of his on-stage colleagues for the audiences, Mr. De Shields brings his entire team together for drummer Rudy Bird's rhythm-replete pop and rock-infused first act, much of the music coming from black writers like Brenda Russell, Curtis Mayfield, the sisters Pointer, with Musical Director Sean Mayes layering in strains of other famous compositions like audible little Easter Eggs to entice the ears, dropping in long enough to excite but flying away before becoming comfortable. Like magicians, the entire De Shields company creates a musical whirlpool to sweep everyone in the room up but not away before Andre turns the stage and the show over to Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, and Frieda Williams to perform compositions of a most intuitive and eloquent nature, all bearing writing and composing credits by Mr. De Shields himself (one of the tunes includes a writing credit by Murray Horwitz). In something resembling a mixture of Vaudeville show, political rally, and religious revival, the cast of BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND presents a second act that is (one hopes) the beginning of a new musical written by Mr. De Shields himself, each number compounding astonishment until, like a flash, the stage is left bare and the people in the seats are left breathless and asking themselves, "What did I just see?"

A miracle is what they just saw. A piece of doctrinal, civic, societal, and human theater designed for laughter and musical entertainment... and thought-provoking meditation sent to fill the soul for days to come. And any day that there is theater, meditation, and a miracle is a good day... and those are all the things that enter the room with Andre De Shields, indeed, those are all things that Andre De Shields is, was, and always will be.

Andre De Shields BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND plays through August 7th at 7 pm. For information and tickets visit the 54 Below website HERE.

Visit the Andre De Shields website HERE

Lori Tishfield

Kimberly Marable

Freida Williams

Photos by Stephen Mosher


Photos: Inside Andre De Shields' BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND At Feinstein's/54 Below

Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning Hadestown star André De Shields opened his theatrical concert, Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx, at Feinstein's/54 Below on August 3, with performances through August 7. The stylish theatrical concert showcases the wit, elegance, and charm that the master entertainer has become known for. De Shields was joined by vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, and Freida Williams, with Music Director Sean Mayes on piano and Rudy Bird on percussion. Check out the photos and set list below.

André shared, "I am an Artist. Artists possess creative muscle that grows both stronger and more supple the greater the challenging conundrum. That said, throughout the preceding seventeen months I have imagined myself as Oedipus during his mythic journey. When he came upon the city of Thebes--where his destiny would rise up to meet him--unbeknownst to him, he had been metamorphosed into an ambassador, representing the Family of Man, before the Massive Sphinx, who would pose the most inscrutable of all riddles. The riddle was asked of any who wished to enter Thebes. If you could answer the riddle, you were granted entry, but if you could not answer the riddle, the Sphinx would eat you. Now, substitute the COVID pandemic for the Sphinx. Still, nobody has the answer. What I have is a pandemic diary, and its entries have inspired me to create Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx. I am accompanied on this journey by the following members of the Family of Man: photographer/archivist Lia Chang, production supervisor Samuel-Moses Jones, co-writer Murray Horwitz, vocalists Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield and Freida Williams, percussionist Rudy Bird, and musical director/pianist Sean Mayes. We are because you are."

The creative team also includes Costume Design by Christina Cocchiara, headdresses by Debra Scotti, celebratory umbrellas by Brendan McCann, and videography by Michael D'Angora.

Set List

"Mau Mau Bett Chant" - Traditional Haitian Chant

"None of Us Are Free" - Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell

"People Get Ready" - Mayfield

"Declaration" - Thomas Jefferson

"Shambala" - Daniel Moore

"Takin' it to The Streets" - Michael McDonald

"I'm So Excited" (The Pointer Sisters, Trevor Lawrence)/"Boogie Rap" (André De Shields)/"Mary Mack" (Traditional Children's Rhyme)

"The Tragic Mulatto" - André De Shields

"Sistah Girl" (Sings the Madame C. J. Walker Blues) - André De Shields

"Now is The Time" - André De Shields

"The Reverend I.M. Randy" - André De Shields and Murray Horwitz

"L-O-V-E" - André De Shields

"Say You Love Me" - D.J. Rogers

Click here for the digital Broadwayworld Stage Mag.

Performances of André De Shields in Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx at Feinstein's/54 Below continue through the Saturday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. There is a $70 - $ 80 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. VIP Seating is $105 and Premium Tickets are $125. Click here for tickets. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com.

Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street in New York.

If you are not in New York, Feinstein's/54 Below is presenting a live stream of André De Shields: BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND on the final night of his weeklong engagement on Saturday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25. Click here to purchase tickets for the livestream.

Live from Feinstein's/54 Below was designed to make more shows accessible to fans from across the globe. Seven cameras will capture the excitement of being at the venue - all paired with the club's dramatic lighting and award-winning sound design. To recreate the live experience, all shows will be presented exclusively at the time of performance with an in-house audience and will not be available on demand afterwards.

For tickets visit https://events.broadwayworld.com.

Photo Credit: Lia Chang


Feinstein's/54 Below


Feinstein's/54 Below


Rudy Bird, Lori Tishfield, Andre De Shields, Freida Williams, Samuel Moses-Jones, Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes


Lori Tishfield


Sean Mayes and Kimberly Marable


Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams


Andre De Shields


Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, Andre De Shields


Freida Williams, Andre De Shields


Rudy Bird


Sean Mayes


Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams


Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, Andre De Shields


Kimberly Marable, Sean Mayes, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, Andre De Shields


Sean Mayes


Lori Tishfield


Kimberly Marable


Sean Mayes, Kimberly Marable


Andre De Shields


Freida Williams


Andre De Shields


Freida Williams


Lori Tishfield


Lori Tishfield


Kimberly Marable


Kimberly Marable


Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, Kimberly Marable


Sean Mayes


Rudy Bird


Andre De Shields and Lia Chang


Lia Chang, Lori Tishfield, Sean Mayes, Freida Williams, Andre De Shields, Rudy Bird, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Michael D'Angora


Kimberly Marable, Samuel-Moses Jones, Lori Tishfield, Rudy Bird, Lia Chang, Freida Williams, Sean Mayes. Photo by Michael D'Angora


Michael D'Angora, Lori Tishfield, Sean Mayes, Freida Williams, Andre De Shields, Rudy Bird, Kimberly Marable and Samuel-Moses Jones


Andre De Shields



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Matt
Tuning in from Melbourne, Australia. Thank you, Andre De Shields and Feinstein's/54 Below!!!
Matt
Tuning in from Melbourne, Australia. Thank you, Andre De Shields and Feinstein's/54 Below!!!