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.
“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
Breathe – George Floyd
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/.
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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