André De Shields Receives 2022 MAC Award Nomination for Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx; Full List of Nominees

Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winning Hadestown star André De Shields is a 2022 MAC Award nominee in the category of Celebrity Artist for his latest theatrical concert, Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx.

Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Others nominated in the Celebrity Artist category include Norm Lewis for (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Lillias White for her concert at The Green Room 42, Billy Stritch for Billy’s Place at Birdland and Natalie Douglas for her series of Best of Tributes concerts and more.

The Manhattan Association of Cabarets is presenting the 36th Annual MAC Awards on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00 pm at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York.

The nominees were determined by votes cast by the active MAC membership, except for the song and recording categories, which were determined by special committees.

Special award recipients include Chita Rivera and Marta Sanders (2022 Lifetime Achievement Award);  The Mabel Mercer FOUNDATION and Lennie Watts (2022 MAC Board of Directors Award); Aaron Lee Battle (2022 Hanson Award winner); CABARET ON THE COUCH (2022 Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series Award); and Jim Caruso’s CAST PARTY/PAJAMA CAST PARTY (2022 Show of the Year Award).

De Shields will receive a 2022 NYU Distinguished Alumni Award on April 1. He recently received the 2021 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award in the category of Best Show, Celebrity, for his latest theatrical concert, Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx, which debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York and at The Cabaret in Indianapolis in August.

André De Shields’ latest theatrical concert, Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx, is the winner of the 2021 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award in the category of Best Show, Celebrity. (L-R) Rudy Bird, Lori Tishfield, André De Shields, Freida Williams, Samuel-Moses Jones, Kimberly Marable and Sean Mayes at Feinstein’s/54 Below on August 4, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

The entire production of Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx was conceived, written and directed by André, featuring additional material by Murray Horwitz, music direction by Sean Mayes on piano, and percussion by Rudy Bird. The featured vocalists are Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield and Freida Williams. The creative team also includes Costume Design by Christina Cocchiara, Celebratory Umbrellas by Brendan McCann, and Headdresses by Debra Scotti.

Click here for the Broadwayworld Stage Mag Program.

Broadway World Cabaret and Concert editor Stephen Mosher writes in his Best of 2021 feature article, “André De Shields: BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – Feinstein’s/54 Below: Unquestionably the most theatrical, outrageous, and thought-provoking show of the season, Black By Popular Demand was Tony Award recipient de Shields’ musical and socio-poetic comment on the state of the world, and his point of view as a black, queer, and fabulous man and artist. The show had a lot to unpack, and de Shields employed a full cast of musicians and musical storytellers to help him with the task, even presenting some musical material penned by his own hand. This was art, storytelling, and theater at its most innovative, fascinating, and entertaining.”

BWW Feature: The Best of 2021 Cabaret, Club, and Concert

André De Shields in his dressing room at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 2, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Murray Horwitz and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

In the program notes 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.”

Kimberly Marable, Lori Tishfield, Freida Williams, 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. Photo by Lia Chang
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 in New York on August 4, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Congrats to all of the nominees!!

Female Vocalist
Susan Mack
Music in the Air, Birdland Theater
Amy Beth Williams
Beautiful Mystery: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, A Thousand Beautiful Things,; Don’t Tell Mama
Deborah Zecher
Jewish Caroling: The Music of Carole King, Carole Bayer Sager, and Carolyn Leigh; Don’t Tell Mama

Male Vocalist
Sean Patrick Murtagh
Summer Sunday Soiree, Holiday Test Drive IX, West Bank Cafe, The Green at Lincoln Center, Martuni’s Piano Bar (SF)
Kim David Smith
Mostly Marlene, A Wery Weimar Christmas, Club Cumming (NYC), Club Cumming on the Coast (Kennebunkport, ME), Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Dorian Woodruff
Studio Musician: The Music of Manilow, Pangea

Major Artist-Female
Meg Flather
Rodgers and Hammerstein 2021, Don’t Tell Mama
Tanya Moberly
I Love New York Songwriters Part II, Don’t Tell Mama
Gabrielle Stravelli
; Various different shows; Birdland, West Bank Cafe

Major Artist – Male
Peter Cincotti
, Birdland
Jason Kravits
Off the Top, Birdland
Craig Pomranz
Welcome Back, We’re Back Again With a Holiday Show, Pangea
David Sabella
25chicago25, Pandemic Relief; Feinstein’s/54 Below, Pangea

New York Debut
Roderick Ferguson
Man Overboard!!!, Don’t Tell Mama
Carolyn German
Unsolicited Advice; Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex
Bruce Sabath
Searching for Tevye, Don’t Tell Mama

Celebrity Artist
Natalie Douglas
Best of Tributes: The Women (Nina, Dolly, Roberta)Best of Tributes: The Men (Nat, Sammy, Elvis)Tributes: James Taylor, To Nina: Tribute to Nina Simone, Four Women Four Decades; Birdland Theater, Birdland Jazz Club, Feinstein’s at the Nikko (S.f.), Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael (Indiana), Gulfshore Playhouse (Naples, Fl)
André De Shields
Black By Popular Demand, Feinstein’s/54 Below
Norm Lewis
(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays, Feinstein’s/54 Below
Billy Stritch
Billy’s Place, Birdland
Lillias White
, The Green Room 42

Impersonation/Characterization/Drag Artist
Flotilla Debarge
Corona and Flo, Shots & Shrieks With Nurse Fatass, Do They Flo It’s Christmas?, Pangea
Jinkx Monsoon and Bendelacreme
The Return of the Jinkx And Dela Holiday Show; Town Hall, Lincoln Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
Cissy Walken
Hammered Drag Brunch, The Invasion, The Simsinz, Completely; The Rusty Nail, Stonewall Inn, Caveat, Rockbar NYC

Musical Comedy Performer
Leanne Borghesi
Borghesi’s Back, Don’t Tell Mama
Andrea Bell Wolff
Adventures In Vegas, Don’t Tell Mama

Duo/Group
Elena Bennett and Fred Barton
Bennett and Barton: Back In the Swing of Things!, West Bank Cafe
Michael Garin and Mardie Millit
The Michael And Mardie Show, West Bank Cafe
Darnell White and David LaMarr
Fully Vaccinated, Don’t Tell Mama

Major Duo/Group
Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch
, Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel
Clearly Now (Sean Harkness, Lina Koutrakos, Marcus Simeone)
Clearly Now, Season 3; Don’t Tell Mama, Pangea
Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano
, Birdland

Piano Bar Instrumentalist
Nate Buccieri
; Don’t Tell Mama, Brandy’s, The Duplex
Gerry Dieffenbach
; Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, Stonewall Inn
William Tn Hall
; Don’t Tell Mama, Brandy’s
Michael Mcassey
, Pangea
Darnell White
; Brandy’s, Stonewall Inn

Piano Bar/Restaurant Singing Entertainer – Female
Elaine Brier
, Don’t Tell Mama
Maria Gentile
; Brandy’s, Stonewall Inn, The Duplex
Tara Martinez
, Don’t Tell Mama
Alison Nusbaum
, Don’t Tell Mama, Brandy’s

Piano Bar/Restaurant Singing Entertainer – Male
Jonathan Hoover
, Don’t Tell Mama
Brian Kalinowski
, Don’t Tell Mama
Paul Pilcz
, Don’t Tell Mama
Jon Satrom
; Don’t Tell Mama, Brandy’s

Restaurant/Hotel Lounge/Happy Hour Entertainer
Yaz Fukuoka
, Don’t Tell Mama
Eric Yves Garcia
, West Bank Cafe
Ricky Ritzel
, Don’t Tell Mama
Sheree Sano
, Chez Josephine

Ensemble Instrumentalist
Steve Doyle
, Bass; Cast Party (Birdland), A Swinging Birdland Christmas (Birdland), Karen Oberlin and Bewitched: The Life and Lyrics of Lorenz Hart (Birdland)
Matt Scharfglass
, Bass; Tanya Moberly/I Love New York Songwriters Part II (Don’t Tell Mama), Marnie Klar/A Woman’s Prerogative (Don’t Tell Mama), Debbie Zecher/Jewish Caroling (Don’t Tell Mama), Scott Coulter & Friends/From Dolly Parton to David Bowie (Feinstein’s/54 Below)
Skip Ward
, Bass; Sue Matsuki & Gregory Toroian: Sunday Open Mic & Jazz Brunch (Pangea), Brenda Braxton/After Hours! (Feinstein’s/54 Below); Maria Corsaro/You Taught My Heart To Sing (Pangea); Kati Neiheisel/Yesterday… Once More (Pangea); Sidney Myer (Pangea)

Recurring Series
The Lineup With Susie Mosher
, Produced by Susie Mosher and Hope Royaltey; Music Direction by Brad Simmons, Birdland Theater
Ricky Ritzel’s Broadway
, Created And Produced By Ricky Ritzel; Staged And Choreographed By Jay Rogers And Aaron Morishita, Don’t Tell Mama
Salon
, Founder, Artistic Director, Host: Mark Janas; Executive Director: Tanya Moberly, Don’t Tell Mama

Revue Or Special Production
Rita Hayworth – The Heat Is On!
; Starring Quinn Lemley, Written and Directed by Carter Inskeep, Produced by Paul Horton, Musical Director Tom Wilson, Costume Designer Wendall Going, Don’t Tell Mama
A Swinging Birdland Christmas
, Created by and Starring Billy Stritch, Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, Birdland
Rian Keating: Time Stamps – Life Fragments In Story and Song
; Written and Performed by Rian Keating, Directed by Tanya Moberly, Musical Direction by Woody Regan; Don’t Tell Mama

Virtual Presentation
Cabaret Conversations
; Conceived, Curated, and Hosted by Michael Kirk Lane; Produced by 92Y School Of Music; 92Y Web Site
Mardie Millit: Live From Lockdown!
, Mardie Millit: Producer, Writer, Director, Videographer, and Star; Michael Garin: Pianist, Arranger, Occasional Singer; Facebook
Open Mac Live!
; Hosted by and Principal Performer: Michael Mcassey, Produced by Peter Nictakis; Facebook, Youtube
Weekly Virtual Spotlight On You Open Mic
, Produced and Emceed by Natasha Castillo; Facebook, Youtube

Emcee
Jim Caruso
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, Birdland
Susie Mosher
The Lineup with Susie Mosher, Birdland Theater

Director
Barry Kleinbort
; Claudine Cassan-Jellison/Hey Frenchy: Stories and Songs From the Pantry (Don’t Tell Mama), Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller/Sin Twisters (Feinstein’s/54 Below), Karen Mason/Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! (Laurie Beechman), Haley Swindal/Back In Business (Feinstein’s/54 Below)
Lina Koutrakos
; Dorian Woodruff/Studio Musician: The Music of Manilow (Pangea), Kati Neiheisel/Yesterday…Once More (Pangea), Susan Mack/Music In the Air (Birdland)
Tanya Moberly
, Amy Beth Williams/Beautiful Mystery – The Songs of Leonard Cohen (Don’t Tell Mama), Rian Keating/Time Stamps – Life Fragments In Story and Song (Don’t Tell Mama), Bruce Sabath/Searching For Tevye (Don’t Tell Mama), Marnie Klar/A Woman’s Prerogative (Don’t Tell Mama), Frank McDonough/Legends of Las Vegas (Don’t Tell Mama)

Musical Director
Daryl Kojak
; Celia Berk/Porch Performances (Music at the Mansion), Collection of Solos and Duets From the Great American Songbook/Beloved Songs From Stage and Screen (Old Dutch Church, Kingston, Ny), Tulis Mccall/Tulis Talks and Sings (Don’t Tell Mama), Asa/Cabaret Scenes Magazine’s 25th Anniversary (The Green Room 42)
Tracy Stark
; Sidney Myer/Sidney Myer at Pangea (Pangea); Meg Flather/Rodgers and Hammerstein 2021 (Don’t Tell Mama), Kim David Smith/Mostly Marlene (Club Cumming), Brenda Braxton/After Hours (Feinstein’s/54 Below), Alice Ripley/Alice Ripley in Concert (The Green Room 42)
Billy Stritch
Cast Party (Birdland), Marilyn Maye (Birdland), Linda Eder/Feinstein’s/54 Below, Luann de Lessups (Feinstein’s/54 Below)
Gregory Toroian
; Sue Matsuki/This Broad’s Way (Pangea), Maria Corsaro/You Taught My Heart to Sing (Pangea), Kati Neiheisel/Yesterday… Once More (Pangea), Dorian Woodruff/Studio Musician—The Music of Manilow (Pangea), Jackie Draper/Spreadin’ Rhythm Around (Laurie Beechman Theatre)

Technical Director
Adam Decarlo
; Meg Flather/Rodgers and Hammerstein 2021, Angela Bacari/One Night Only, Claudine Cassan-Jellison/Hey Frenchy: Stories and Songs From The Pantry, Deborah Zecher/Jewish Caroling, Ricky Ritzel’s Broadway (All at Don’t Tell Mama)
KJ Hardy
 (Lights) and Amanda Raymond (Sound); Marilyn Maye’s 93rd Birthday Celebration, André De Shields/Black By Popular Demand; Jason Danieley/Reflections, Kelli O’Hara/Diamond Series; Paulo Szot/An Enchanted Evening (All at Feinstein’s/54 Below)
Rocky Noel
; Leanne Borghesi/Borghesi’s Back (Don’t Tell Mama), Our Sinatra (Birdland Theater), Quinn Lemley/The Heat is On (Don’t Tell Mama), Marnie Klar/A Woman’s Prerogative (Don’t Tell Mama), Claudine Cassan-Jellison/Hey Frenchy: Stories and Songs From the Pantry (Don’t Tell Mama)
Alison Nusbaum
; Rian Keating/Time Stamps, Bruce Sabath/Searching for Tevye, David LaMarr and Darnell White/Fully Vaccinated, Timothy Quinlan/All My Stupid Jobs, Andrea Bell Wolff/Showgirl (All at Don’t Tell Mama)
Kelly Wohlford
; Tanya Moberly/I Love NY Songwriters Part II, Amy Beth Williams/A Thousand Beautiful Things, American Popular Song Society, Cathy Taylor/Life Hack Unabridged, Jill Senter/La Soirée (All at Don’t Tell Mama)

Song
“Inside,”
 Music and Lyrics by Meg Flather
“Just Say Goodbye,”
 Music by John Forster, Lyrics by John Forster and Harriet Goldberg
“Let the Music Play,”
 Music and Lyrics by Paul Rolnick and David Friedman
“Warp and Weave,”
 Music and Lyrics by John Forster
“While I’m Still Here,”
 Music and Lyrics by Bob Levy

Comedy/Novelty Song
“Boo Hoo,”
, Music by John Forster, Lyrics by John Forster, Hillary Rolls, Tom Toce
“Helium,”
 Music and Lyrics by John Forster
“I Survived You,”
 Music and Lyrics by Bob Levy
“Those Year-End Hot Kisses,”
 Music and Lyrics by John A. Todras
“You Can Keep the Wings,”
 Music and Lyrics by Carolyn German

Recording (Lamott Friedman Award)
Tina Burner
Maybe This Time
Chip Deffaa / Various Artists
Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin: Love Songs and Such
Dawn Derow
My Ship, Songs From 1941
Bob Levy
While I’m Still Here
Marya Zimmet
On the Road to Love

Major Recording
Phil Geoffrey Bond / Various Artists
Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions Vol 1
Clearly Now (Sean Harkness, Lina Koutrakos, Marcus Simeone)
Clearly Now
Gay Marshall
Back On Boogie Street – The Songs of Leonard Cohen
Karen Mason
Let The Music Play
David Sabella
Time Heals

The MAC Awards ceremony is produced by Michael Kirk Lane and directed by Lennie Watts, with musical direction by Yazuhiko Fukuoka. The event is open to the public. Tickets are available at www.symphonyspace.org/events/vp-36th-mac-awards. For additional information, visit www.MACnyc.com.

Playbill.com: Lillias White, Norm Lewis, and André De Shields Among 2022 MAC Nominees

Louharry.com: Thoughts on “Andre De Shields: Black by Popular Demand, A Musical Meditation on How NOT To Be Eaten By The Sphinx”

Nitelife Exchange: André De Shields’ “Black by Popular Demand” Is an Exquisite Magical Mystery Tour

Bistro Awards Club Review: André De Shields’ “Black by Popular Demand (A Musical Meditation on How Not To Be Eaten by The Sphinx)”

Theater Pizzazz André De Shields Shines His Light at 54 Below

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

Opening Night at Feinstein’s/54 Below of André De Shields’ “Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation On How Not To Be Eaten By The Sphinx”; Live Performances Continue through Aug. 7, with an additional Live Stream on Aug. 7

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

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

Multimedia: André De Shields Receives 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards; Full List of Winners 

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories that are diverse and inclusive – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, award-winning filmmaker, and a performing arts photographer and documentarian. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She stars in and is the Executive Producer for the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia has also appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. Along with an extensive career in Off-Broadway productions, favorite stage credits include her debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet and playing Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago. www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

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