Chatting with HADESTOWN Star and 2019 Tony Winner André De Shields

The hits just keep coming for HADESTOWN star André De Shields, who will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame at an invitation only ceremony of the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, being held at the Gershwin Theatre on November 18.

City Council President Brandon Scott, Mayor Jack Young, André De Shields, Comptroller Joan Pratt in the rotunda of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

In this interview, the 2019 Tony Award winner talks about having a social contract with Baltimore, and the significance of going home to receive the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young and to serve as the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. He also shared what it will mean to receive The York Theatre’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street) on November 11.

André De Shields with his Tony Award in the Ceremonial Room of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The VIP Reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director and recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) is set to direct the evening’s celebration. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 214 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org, or go online at YorkTheatre.org.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and it is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade in Baltimore on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Vinie Burrows with André De Shields, winner of the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for “Hadestown,” at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Front Row: Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Amber Gray. Back Row: Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, Ahmad Simmons, Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang
Front Row: Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Amber Gray. Back Row: Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, Ahmad Simmons, Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

Team HADESTOWN at the Outer Critics Circle Awards at Sardi’s in New York on May 23, 2019: Danielle Long King, Dale Franzen, André De Shields, Montego Glover, Mara Isaacs, Noah Hahn, Bradley King, Rachel Chavkin, Tom Kirdahy, Anaïs Mitchell and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer 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. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Serves As Grand Marshal Of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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