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.”
The creative team also includes Costume Design by Christina Cocchiara, umbrellas by Brendan McCann, and videography by Michael D’Angora
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” 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.
Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein’s/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage.
Feinstein’s/54 Below is committed to the health of its performers, staff, and guests and has created a Safety Plan to ensure safe conditions along with optimum performing conditions. The new policies require that performers, production, kitchen, and dining room staff, as well as all audience members show proof of vaccination to enter the premises. Additional information on our safety protocols can be found here.
Feinstein’s/54 Below To Reopen June 17; Upcoming Concerts to Feature André De Shields, Alice Ripley, Derrick Baskin, Maria Christina-Oliveras, Andy Karl & Orfeh, Liz Callaway, Helen Park, Michael Feinstein, Joe Iconis, George Salazar, Amber Iman, Ken Page, Sierra Boggess, Michael R. Jackson, Beth Malone, Adam Gwon, Beth Leavel, Larry Owens, L Morgan Lee and Many More
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. 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 (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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