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

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Ann Reinking, Michael Feingold, Michael Price, Emily Mann, Natasha Katz, Thomas Meehan Among 2019 Theater Hall of Fame Inductees

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame on Monday, November 18 during the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater ceremony being held at the Gershwin Theatre at 7:00 P.M.

The Hadestown star is among the 2019 inductees which include his Half Time co-star Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line), Tony Award-winning actress/choreographer Ann Reinking (Chicago), theater critic Michael Feingold, Goodspeed Musicals founder Michael Price, director/playwright Emily Mann (Gloria: A Life) and six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz (Frozen), with a posthumous induction to three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan (Annie).

Donna McKechnie and André De Shields backstage at Paper Mill Playhouse’s opening night of HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

Founded in 1970 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell, Gerard Oestriecher and L. Arnold Weissberger, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.

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

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.

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

Tony and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Serves as Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

André De Shields boards the 6:45 A.M. train to Baltimore at New York Penn Station on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields was the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto parade held on August 31.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Sponsored by the Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Upton Planning Committee, Inc. and organized by Michael Johnson, the Parade kicked off the second day of the inaugural Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival, marking the 99th anniversary of Pennsylvania Avenue and honoring Holiday’s legacy.


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields led the parade in an antique 1976 light blue Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Highlights of the Parade included classic and high-end cars and performances by Lincoln University’s and Morgan State University’s marching bands and dance troupes along the route down Pennsylvania Avenue beginning at North Avenue and ending at Dolphin Street.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Corvette in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Cadillac in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Lincoln University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Dance Troupe. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown star and Baltimore native returned to his hometown just two weeks after receiving the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young, who was also in attendance. De Shields and Mayor Young were presented with Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards.

Main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields received Bille Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Pennsylvania Avenue was the place to be to see the latest singers and musicians perform. Many jazz clubs and performance halls in the area, notably the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue, were part of the Chitlin’ Circuit where African American entertainers, such as Redd Foxx, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown, could perform freely in a segregated America. The Royal Theater has since been torn down, but its spirit lives on in the community and at The Avenue Bakery where its history is recounted through murals and plaques on the walls. Source: historicupton.com

In July, the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor of West Baltimore became the city’s fourth state-designated arts district. The program will offer incentives to spur economic development in the neighborhood according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. Resources available in Maryland Arts and Entertainment Districts include property tax incentives for buildings entirely or partially renovated for use by artists or for entertainment purposes.

Councilman Eric Costello, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, André De Shields and Kevin Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, District 44 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, City Council President Brandon Scott, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, André De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett, District 7, Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Holton, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Jules Dunham-Howie, Director Upton-Westside CDC, Helen Holton, Host, City Council President Brandon Scott, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Andre De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, District 7, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, Commissioner Harrison, Baltimore Police Department, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival and City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
Beverly A. Cooper and André De Shields. 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

André De Shields with Kevin Brown at Nancy by SNAC in Baltimore. Photo by Lia Chang

After the parade, De Shields headed to lunch at Kevin Brown’s Nancy by SNAC  before taking the Acela back to New York.

Lia Chang and Andre De Shields. Photo by Kevin Brown

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

Broadway Legends Ben Vereen and André De Shields Visit Backstage at HADESTOWN

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Ben Vereen recently stopped by HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr and visited with Tony Award winner André De Shields, who missed him when Mr. Vereen attended opening night.  Following the performance, Mr. Vereen met other cast members backstage and posed for photos.

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards, it has been honored with four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

Afra Hines, Khaila Wilcoxon, Jewelle Blackman, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Damani Van Rensalier. Photo by Lia Chang

The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. HADESTOWN marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat.

Ben Vereen and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is already the highest-grossing musical in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway (219 West 48th Street, New York) and continues to sell out nightly with a cast led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, along with Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full company also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Damani Van Rensalier and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Reeve Carney, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Cherie B. Tay

The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, HADESTOWN has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone -Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love.

Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Ben Vereen, André De Shields, Kay Trinidad. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for features Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (set design); four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design); two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design); Tony Award winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design); Chita Rivera Award® winner and three-time Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography); Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements); Tony Award winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations); Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy); and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Ben Vereen, Afra Hines, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

A National Tour of HADESTOWN will launch beginning in the Fall of 2020. In its first year, the tour will visit more than 30 cities coast to coast, including (alphabetically) Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC; with more to be announced shortly.

Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Ben Vereen, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Stevens, Ben Vereen, André De Shields and Summerisa Bell Stevens. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Cherie B. Tay and André De Shields. 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.

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

André De Shields to Receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award on November 11

The York Theatre Company will honor 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney; Enter Laughing: The Musical) with The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award at the 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, to be held on Monday evening, November 11, 2019 at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street).

André De Shields. 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 is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 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. 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!, and The Full Monty. 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. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

“André De Shields is a true man of the theatre, and it is a glorious coincidence that he began his career in 1969, the same year that The York was founded,” said James Morgan, York’s Producing Artistic Director. “We can’t think of a better way to honor his fifty years in showbiz than with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Musical Theatre. We are ecstatic to honor him for a career as performer that began with Hair and wound its way through Ain’t Misbehavin’ and into the current Hadestown, with detours into writing, directing, choreographing, and teaching. Nobody is more deserving.”

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.

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

Multimedia: Tony and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Receives Key to the City of Baltimore and is Honored by Arena Players and Central Scholarship

Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, August 19, 2019, Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields took the Amtrak Acela to Baltimore for a day of celebration.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

11:00 a.m.

Mr. De Shields, impeccably clad in a slim suit of Claret Red, black suede boots with harlequin tipped toes, a navy and red floral tie, and a navy and white polka dot patterned pocket square, visited with Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room of Baltimore City Hall. Mr. De Shields is best known for his roles in “The Wiz,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” “Play On” and “The Full Monty.”

André De Shields receives the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields receives the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields receives the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields receives the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields shares his Tony Award with Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields with his Tony Award in the Ceremonial Room. Photo by Lia Chang

In the Rotunda on the main floor of Baltimore City Hall, Mayor Young presented him with a Key to the City and a mayoral salute just two months after receiving his first Tony Award for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical” for his turn as Hermes in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown.

Mayor Jack Young, André De Shields, Comptroller Joan Pratt in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
And the crowd goes wild for André De Shields in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
Councilwoman, Sharon Middleton, City Council President, Brandon Scott, Mayor Jack Young, André De Shields, Comptroller Joan Pratt in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
City Council President, Brandon Scott, Mayor Jack Young, André De Shields, Comptroller Joan Pratt in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
Comptroller Joan Pratt, André De Shields with his Tony Award, City Council President, Brandon Scott in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
Comptroller Joan Pratt, André De Shields with his Tony Award, City Council President, Brandon Scott in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang
Key to the City of Baltimore. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields’ Mayoral Salute. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning fifty years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director and educator. Mr. De Shields is the triple crown winner of the 2019 Awards Season, having won the prestigious Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards in the category of Best Actor in a Featured Role for Hadestown, which won as Best Musical. His other numerous accolades include the 2019 Actors’ Equity Foundation’s Richard Seff Award, honoring best performances by a veteran male and female actor, the 2019 Harlem Pride 50 Award, the 2018 Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, and eight AUDELCO Awards for Outstanding Performance, Direction and Choreography.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
College Alumni Association, Cinese Caldwell, Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Bob Manekin, Board Chair Baltimore City College Foundation, André De Shields, Neil Bernstein, Ex-Official Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Jacob Howard, Board President Baltimore City College Alumni Association. Photo by Lia Chang
Al Robinson, Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Cinese Caldwell, Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Bob Manekin, Board Chair Baltimore City College Foundation, André De Shields, Neil Bernstein, Ex-Official Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Jacob Howard, Board President Baltimore City College Alumni Association. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Medeiros and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
J. Wynn Rousuck and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Tonya R. Miller Hall, Executive Director of Cable and Communications and Senior Director of Public Affairs, Steph Rusinko-Flowers, Gil Flowers, Khali Deshields, André De Shields, Mayor Jack Young, Robert A. Manekin in the Mayor’s office. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Melamed, Liza Streb Melamed, André De Shields, Mayor Jack Young in the Mayor’s office. Photo by Lia Chang
Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by
Lia Chang
André De Shields in the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Photo by Lia Chang

12:30 p.m.

Mr. De Shields was honored by The Arena Players at a special luncheon at Arena Playhouse, located at 801 McCulloh St. in West Baltimore, the nation’s only continuously running black theater company founded by African-Americans.

André De Shields’ posters of THE WIZ, HAARLEM NOCTURNE AND AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. Photo by Lia Chang

Senator Larry Young, Chairman of Arena Players Board of Directors, introduced the program which featured remarks from Chapman Roberts and a performance of “Home” from “The Wiz” by Gabrielle Goodman.

Senator Larry Young, André De Shields, Travis Winkey and David Alan Bunn. Photo by Lia Chang
David Alan Bunn, Gabrielle Goodman. Photo by
Lia Chang
David Alan Bunn, Gabrielle Goodman. Photo by Lia Chang

Travis Winkey, Executive Director, One Step Further, presented Mr. De Shields with the 14 Carat Gold Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in the fields of acting, singing and directing. Arena Players’ Youth Theater Director Catherine Orange and Artistic Director Donald Owens presented him with the Theatre Ambassador Award. After talking about his path in the arts over a half a century, Mr. De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself,” accompanied by music director David Alan Bunn.

Arena Players’ Artistic Director Donald Owens, André De Shields and Youth Theater Director Carol Orange. Photo by Lia Chang
David Alan Bunn and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Chapman Roberts, André De Shields and David Alan Bunn. Photo by Lia Chang
Gordon Parks, André De Shields, Gabrielle Goodman and David Alan Bunn. Photo by
Lia Chang
André De Shields, Beverly Cooper,  David Alan Bunn. Photo by
Lia Chang
Chapman Roberts, Toni Isreal, André De Shields , Cherine E.Anderson and David Alan Bunn. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Lenora Howze, Executive Director/Assistant to the Publisher, AFRO. Photo by Lia Chang
Travis Winkey, Michael Eugene Johnson, André De Shields, Sharon Alford, Kelly Ward. Photo by Lia Chang
The Arena Players celebrate André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

3:00 p.m.

Mr. De Shields took a trip down memory lane as he drove by his Junior High School, Booker T. Washington; stopped on Division Street, the street where he spent his youth; and circled his high school, Baltimore City College, nicknamed “The Castle on the Hill.” A graduate of Baltimore City College, Mr. De Shields is a proud member of the class of 1964 and a member of the City College Hall of Fame.

Booker T. Washington Junior High School. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore City College. Photo by Lia Chang

The Central Scholarship celebration of André De Shields at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church featured performances by Baltimore Symphony musicians Rene Shapiro (Trumpet), Lior Willinger (Piano), and Morgan State University Choir Members Dezmond Covington (Tenor and Central Scholarship Recipient) and Taylor Jackson (Piano).

Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Jan Moylan Wagner, Central Scholarship President and André De Shields. Photo by
Lia Chang
Central Scholarship Alumnus Award 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

As Mr. De Shields stepped up to the lectern to receive the inaugural Central Scholarship Alumnus Award 2019, he pulled out his Tony Award and his Emmy Award as the results of what $300 gets you. This was a direct nod to receiving $300 from Central Scholarship, enabling him to attend college.

 

Central Scholarship Alumnus Award 2019 Recipient André De Shields with his Tony Award and his Emmy Award. Photo by Lia Chang
Booker T. Washington Junior High School classmates Lillian Wright and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields with Baltimore Symphony musicians Rene Shapiro and Michael Lisicky. Photo by Lia Chang
Dezmond Convington, Central Scholarship Recipient, Taylor Jackson, André De Shields, and Lior Willinger. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields with fellow Baltimore City College Alum Arnold Fruman and Larry Kamanitz. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields with fellow Baltimore City College Alum Al Robinson, Board Member Baltimore City College Alumni Association, Arnold Fruman and Larry Kamanitz. Photo by Lia Chang
Jerry Focas, Central Scholarship Board Chair, Nancy Fenton, Central Scholarship Director of Development, André De Shields and Abby Case, Stewardship and Annual Fund Manager. Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row from Left: Kayla Bettenhauser, Tim Redmond, Jerry Focas, Arnold Fruman, Princess Agha, Abby Case, Kim Haley Front Row from Left: Michele Waxman Johnson, Nancy Fenton, Molly Shock, Jan Moylan Wagner, André De Shields, Margot Heller, Larry Kamanitz, Angela Harrison. Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row from Left: Kayla Bettenhauser, Tim Redmond, Jerry Focas, Arnold Fruman, Princess Agha, Abby Case, Kim Haley Front Row from Left: Michele Waxman Johnson, Nancy Fenton, Molly Shock, Jan Moylan Wagner, André De Shields, Margot Heller, Larry Kamanitz, Angela Harrison. Photo by Lia Chang

5:00 p.m.

Mr. De Shields headed to Owings Mills to share the Tony Award and the Key to the City with his sister, Mary before traveling back to New York.

André De Shields with his sister, Mary. Photo by Lia Chang

WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore Tony Award-Winning Baltimore Native André De Shields Gets Key To The City 

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives Key To The City Of Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun: ‘The Baltimore way’: It took a half-century for André Robin De Shields to earn a Tony. He’s back to celebrate

Inside the HALF TIME Cast Album CD Signing with André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin and producer Dori Berinstein

Garth Kravits, André De Shields, Lia Chang. Photo by Liza Streb Melamed
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.

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

Tony Award Winner, Baltimore Native André De Shields To Get Key To The City at Baltimore City Hall on August 19

On Monday, August 19, 2019, Baltimore native André De Shields will be presented with a Key to the City, two months after receiving his first Tony Award for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical” for his turn as Hermes in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, currently playing to sold-out houses at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young will present De Shields with the Key to the City and a mayoral salute in the Rotunda at Baltimore City Hall at 11:00 A.M. in an event open to the pubic. It will be streamed live on FLive on CharmTVBaltimore.

De Shields acknowledged his Baltimore roots during his acceptance speech at the Tony Awards.

“Baltimore, Maryland are you in the house?” he asked. “I hope you are watching at home because I am making good on my promise that I would come to New York and become someone you’d be proud to call your native son.”

De Shields is a graduate of Baltimore City College, a proud member of the class of 1964 and a member of the City College Hall of Fame.

In a career spanning fifty years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director and educator. Mr. De Shields is the triple crown winner of the 2019 Awards Season, having won the prestigious Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards in the category of Best Actor in a Featured Role for his performance as Hermes, Messenger To the Gods in Hadestown, which won as Best Musical. His other numerous accolades include the 2019 Actors’ Equity Foundation’s Richard Seff Award, honoring best performances by a veteran male and female actor, the 2019 Harlem Pride 50 Award, the 2018 Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, and eight AUDELCO Awards for Outstanding Performance, Direction and Choreography. He continues to be consistently acclaimed for his show stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty (Tony Nomination), Play On! (Tony Nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and The Wiz (Title Role). Mr. De Shields is proud a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

Inside the HALF TIME Cast Album CD Signing with André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin and producer Dori Berinstein

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.

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

Inside the HALF TIME Cast Album CD Signing with André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin and Producer Dori Berinstein

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Half Time‘s André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin, producer Dori Berinstein and co-producer Kimberlee Garris had a lovely reunion at Theatre Circle in celebration of the release of their Original Cast Recording and to sign CDs for fans on August 14, 2019. The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of the late Georgia Engel, who passed away in April 2019. The production of Half Time marked her final performance.

Dori Berinstein, André De Shields and Georgia Engel at the opening night party of Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of HALF TIME on June 12, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

They were joined by Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz. Mr. De Shields strolled in after his matinee of Hadestown and as he was leaving for his evening performance, Ms. White arrived to the delight of adoring fans.

Seated: Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie. Standing: Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz, Bob Martin, Matthew Sklar, Dori Berinstein, André De Shields, Kimberlee Garris. Photo by Lia Chang

Released by The Sony Masterworks Broadway label on August 2, Half Time features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, additional music by Ester Dean and some of the last songs written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away during the show’s early gestation.

Seated: Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie. Standing: Original NETSational Sr. Dancer Betsy Walkup Bob Martin, Producer Dori Berinstein, Matthew Sklar, Original NETSational Sr. Dancer Deana Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

The album also features a who’s who of Broadway talent, including five-time Emmy Award-nominated actress Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”), Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) and 2019 Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’), who most recently won his Tony for his role in Hadestown.

Lillias White and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Produced by Scott M. Riesett (Ain’t Too Proud, The Prom) and Matthew Sklar, the album features music from the Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin-written musical, which made its 2018 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse and tells the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams. Making its premiere is a fan-favorite number from the musical entitled “New Point of View.”

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast also includes Haven Burton, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Mary Claire King, Lenora Nemetz, Kay Walbye, Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

Dori Berinstein and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein, Half Time tells the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team., inspired by the true story of the New Jersey NETSational Seniors. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.

Matthew Sklar, Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar show off their Lights of Broadway Show Card. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Dori Berinstein with Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang
Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar and Nancy Ticotin. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Dori Berinstein. Photo by Lia Chang

Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Producer Dori Berinstein and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin. Photo by Lia Chang
Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Donna McKechnie and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar, Nancy Ticotin and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin, André De Shields and Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
Haven Burton and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lillias White. Photo by Lia Chang
Lillias White. Photo by Lia Chang
Taaj Jaharah and André De Shields. 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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

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

Inside the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Gala with André De Shields

2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony winner Andre De Shields has been attending The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, N. C. since 1995. Dubbed the “Black Theatre Holy Ground,” NBTF is the international outreach program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin in 1979. The Festival, also founded by Hamlin, has been held biennially since 1989. The NCBRC celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, while the NBTF celebrated its 30th. Below is a photo diary of his night at the gala.

WINSTON-SALEM MARRIOTT 4:45 P.M.

Elizabeth Van Dyke, André De Shields, Art Evans and Woodie King, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Ted Lange and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Kim Sullivan, André De Shields and Keith David. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Evans and Herman LeVern Thompson-Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and 2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Rome Neal
André De Shields, Makita Bond and her husband, Petri Hawkins Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and cast members from JELLY’s LAST JAM. Photo by Lia Chang
Kamilah Forbes and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. De Shields presented the 2019 NBTF Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award to his dear friend and colleague, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Leslie Uggams during the opening night gala at the Benton Convention Center on July 29.

2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields presents the 2019 NBTF Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award to Leslie Uggams. Photo by Lia Chang

Scroll down for complete coverage of the evening’s festivities.

5:15 P.M.

Carver High School’s marching band and dancers performed in front of the Benton Convention Center. Photo by Lia Chang
Carver High School’s marching band and dancers performed in front of the Benton Convention Center. Photo by Lia Chang

Carver High School’s marching band and dancers performed in front of the Benton Convention Center.

Brian McLaughlin and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Art Evans, André De Shields, Michael Colyar and Keith David. Photo by Lia Chang
Chester Gregory, Art Evans, André De Shields, Michael Colyar and Keith David. Photo by Lia Chang

Margaret Avery and Chester Gregory served as celebrity co-chairs for the evening.

Petri Hawkins-Byrd and Andre De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrity co-chairs Margaret Avery and Chester Gregory. Photo by Lia Chang

Celebrity guests also included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tonya Pinkins, Lamman Rucker, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Keith David, Ledisi, Geoffrey Owens, Woodie King, Jr., Bern Nadete Stanis, Hal Williams, Lisa Arrindell, Taurean Blacque, Mychal Bella Bowman, Petri Hawkins Byrd, Colby Christina, Bill Cobbs, Savion Glover, Fay Hauser- Price and Louis Price, Tommy Redmond Hicks, Maria Howell, Ebony Jo-Ann, Aku Kadogo, Ted Lange, Khalil Middleton, Qaasim Middleton, Barbara Montgomery, Gabriela Norwood, Tonea Stewart, Darnell Williams, Hattie Winston Wheeler and many more who posed for an iconic group portrait prior to the awards ceremony.

DINNER 5:45 P.M.

Dr. Elwanda Ingram and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Colby Christina, Qaasim Middleton, André De Shields, Toni Seawright, Khalil Middleton. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonita Brisker, André De Shields and Michele Shay. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Stephen C. Bird and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ron Simons, André De Shields and a guest. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Darnell Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Allyson Tucker-Mitchell and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang
Tonya Pinkins and Stephen C. Bird. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephen C. Bird, Kimberley LaMarque Orman, Roscoe Orman and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Roscoe Orman and Kimberley LaMarque Orman. Photo by Lia Chang
Louis Price and Faith Hauser-Price. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Nana Malaya Rucker-Oparabea. Photo by Lia Chang

GATHERING FOR THE PORTRAIT

André De Shields and Winston-Salem’s Mayor Allen Joines. Photo by Lia Chang
Ted Lange and Darnell Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields with Idella Johnson and Stanley Wayne Mathis, stars of “JELLY’s LAST JAM. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Bell Calloway and Ebony Jo-Ann. Photo by Lia Chang
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Keith David, André De Shields, Stephen C. Bird. Photo by Lia Chang
Annie Hamlin Johnson, mother of NBTF founder Larry Leon Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang
Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, executive producer of the National Black Theatre Festival and Chester Gregory, celebrity co-chair of the Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Nambi E. Kelley, Fay Hauser-Price, Maria Howell and Art Evans. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Uggams and Margaret Avery. Photo by Lia Chang
Bebe Drake. Photo by Lia Chang
The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Official Portrait. Photo by Lia Chang
Kamilah Forbes, James V. Thomas, Jackie Alexander, Nigel D. Alston, Leslie Uggams, Winston-Salem’s Mayor Allen Joines and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang
Petri Hawkins-Byrd and Andre De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

THE PROCESSIONAL OF STARS 6:30 P.M.

A stilt walker, dancers and drummers from Otesha Creative Arts led the processional of stars down the center of the banquet hall.

A dancer on stilts performs during the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
A dancer on stilts performs during the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
Dancers at the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
A dancer performs during the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers perform during the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
Larente Hamlin and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang
Sherrie Hamlin Robinson and Annie Hamlin Johnson, sister and mother of NBTF founder Larry Leon Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrity co-chairs Margaret Avery and Chester Gregory. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrity co-chair Chester Gregory. Photo by Lia Chang
Jackie Alexander and Winston-Salem’s Mayor Allen Joines. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Uggams, 2019 NBTF Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award Winner. Photo by Lia Chang
James V. Thomas and Dr. Elwanda Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang
Rhodessa Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Thembi Mtshali-Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Art Evans. Photo by Lia Chang
Roscoe Orman. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Tony Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Stephen C. Bird. Photo by Lia Chang
Starletta DuPois. Photo by Lia Chang
Ted Lange. Photo by Lia Chang
Stanley Wayne Matthis, Michael Colyar and Ledisi. Photo by Lia Chang
Tonya Pinkins. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelly Davis-Rucker and Lamman Rucker. Photo by Lia Chang
Mychal Bella. Photo by Lia Chang
Gabriela Norwood, 2019-20 National American Miss Georgia Jr. Teen. Photo by Lia Chang
Khalil Middleton and Qaasim Middleton. Photo by Lia Chang
Tommy Redmond Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang
Woodie King, Jr. and Hattie Winston Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Tony Award Winner Harold Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang
Barbara Montgomery. Photo by Lia Chang
Bill Cobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
Ebony Jo-Ann and Geoffrey Owens. Photo by Lia Chang
Ebony Jo-Ann and Geoffrey Owens. Photo by Lia Chang
Geoffrey Owens. Photo by Lia Chang
Rome Neal. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to all of the winners:

2019 NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL® HONOREES
Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award
Leslie Uggams
Leslie Uggams, 2019 NBTF Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award Winner. Photo by Lia Chang
 
Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award
Kamilah Forbes
August Wilson Playwright Award
Pearl Cleage
Lloyd Richards Director Award
Michele Shay
Living Legend Award
Art Evans ● Marjorie Moon
Thembi Mtshali-Jones ● Roscoe Orman
Ted Lange presented the 2019 NBTF Living Legend Award to Roscoe Orman. Photo by Lia Chang
Roscoe Orman receives the 2019 NBTF Living Legend Award. Photo by Lia Chang
Thembi Mtshali-Jones, 2019 NBTF Living Legend Award. Photo by Lia Chang
Art Evans, 2019 NBTF Living Legend Award Winner. Photo by Lia Chang
Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Frenchie La’Vern
Frenchie La’Vern, Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design Award Winner. Photo by Lia Chang
Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Xavier Pierce
Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
 James V. Thomas
James V. Thomas received the 2019 NBTF Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design Award from Darnell Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management
 Femi Sarah Heggie
Theatre Longevity Award
Black Spectrum Theatre Company
New York, NY
Carl Clay of Black Spectrum Theatre Company accepts the 2019 NBTF Theatre Longevity Award. Photo by Lia Chang

Special Recognition Award

Idris Ackamoor ● Herman LeVern Thompson-Jones
Rhodessa Jones
Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones, 2019 NBTF Special Recognition Award Recipients. Photo by Lia Chang
Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, 2019 NBTF Special Recognition Award Recipients. Photo by Lia Chang
Herman LeVern-Thompson Jones, 2019 NBTF Special Recognition Award Recipient. Photo by Lia Chang
Marvtastic Philanthropy Award
Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T)
Sharon Jeffries Jones receives the Marvtastic Philanthropy Award for Branch Banking & Trust (BB & T). Photo by Lia Chang
Theatre Arts & Humanitarian Award
Dr. Elwanda Ingram
Dr. Elwanda Ingram receives the 2019 NBTF Theatre Arts and Humanitarian Award from Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang
Dr. Elwanda Ingram, 2019 NBTF Theatre Arts and Humanitarian Award Recipient. Photo by Lia Chang
Dr. Elwanda Ingram, 2019 NBTF Theatre Arts and Humanitarian Award Recipient. Photo by Lia Chang

A new award, the inaugural Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin Rolling world Premier Award, was presented to Nambi E. Kelley by Tonya Pinkins.

Nambi E. Kelley receives the 2019 NBTF Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin Rolling world Premier Award from Tonya Pinkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Kelley is currently serving as playwright-in-residence at New Victory Theatre and The Dramatists Guild Foundation in New York City. Kelley was  commissioned by N.C. Black Repertory Company to write “Maya,” a stage production inspired by the life and legacy of the late Maya Angelou. The award, named after NCBRC board president and the widow of Larry Leon Hamlin, guarantees at least three regional productions of the play.

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, executive producer of the National Black Theatre Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
New Federal Theatre Producer Woodie King, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Bill Cobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
Harold Wheeler and Hattie Winston Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang
Winston-Salem’s Mayor Allen Joines. Photo by Lia Chang
Winston-Salem’s Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke. Photo by Lia Chang
Lamman Rucker and Kelly Davis-Rucker. Photo by Lia Chang
Nigel Alston, executive director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Tony Winner Harold Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrity co-chair Margaret Avery. Photo by Lia Chang
Fay Hauser-Price. Photo by Lia Chang
Ted Lange. Photo by Lia Chang
Woodie King, Jr.. Photo by Lia Chang
Keith David. Photo by Lia Chang
Jazz singer Maria Howell. Photo by Lia Chang
Starletta DuPois. Photo by Lia Chang
Ebony Jo-Ann and Bill Cobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers perform during the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Rome Neal, Nana Malaya Rucker-Oparabea and drummers at the National Black Theatre Festival’s opening night gala on Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo by Lia Chang
Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin and Chester Gregory. Photo by Lia Chang
Margaret Avery. Photo by Lia Chang
Roscoe Orman and Woodie King, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Bell Calloway and Darnell Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Tony Winners André De Shields and Rosemary Harris. Photo by Lia Chang
Ledisi and Andre De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Mabel Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang
A tribute to the late Larry Leon Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang

After the awards ceremony, attendees lined the streets of Winston-Salem on the way to the Stevens Center  for the opening night gala performance of Jelly’s Last Jam, presented by the NCBRC and helmed by Jackie Alexander. The production starred DeWitt Fleming Jr.,  Idella Johnson and Stanley Wayne Mathis. Mathis appeared in the original Broadway company, and original cast members Keith David, Tonya Pinkins and Savion Glover were in the house to cheer them on.

Drummers at the entrance to the Stevens Center. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Richarda Abrams. Photo by Lia Chang
Starletta DuPois. Photo by Lia Chang
Starletta DuPois and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Wendell Tabb, Starletta DuPois and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

From July 29  – August 3, the festival presented over one hundred productions performed by more thirty professional theatre companies, several universities, including a production from Cape Town, South Africa. NBTF was named one of the Top 100 events in North America by the American Business Association. For additional information click on www.nbtf.org.

André De Shields, KB Saine and Andre Harrington. Photo by Lia Chang
Lori Minor and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrice Andrew Davidson and Fumiko Tanaka. Photo by Lia Chang
Allyson Tucker-Mitchell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bill Cobbs and Keith David. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrice Andrew Davidson, Fumiko Tanaka, Jeffrey Page, André De Shields, KB Saine, Andre Harrington and Thelma Pollard. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony Award Winners André De Shields and Harold Wheeler Among the Celebrity Guests at National Black Theatre Festival® Gala in Winston-Salem on July 29

 

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

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

André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin and Nancy Ticotin Set for HALF TIME CD Signing at Theatre Circle on August 14

Half Time‘s André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin and Nancy Ticotin will be at Theatre Circle, 268 West 44th Street on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, from 5:00 to 6:00 PM for a CD signing of the original cast album of Half Time the musical.

Only CD’s purchased at the event will be eligible for signing.

Released by The Sony Masterworks Broadway label on August 2, Half Time features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, additional music by Ester Dean and some of the last songs written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away during the show’s early gestation.

Dori Berinstein, André De Shields and Georgia Engel. Photo by Lia Chang

The album also features a who’s who of Broadway talent, including five-time Emmy Award-nominated actress Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”), Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) and Emmy Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz), who most recently won a Tony for his role in Hadestown. The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of the late Georgia Engel.

Georgia Engel, Tracy Jai Edwards, André De Shields, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe. Photo by Lia Chang

Produced by Scott M. Riesett (Ain’t Too Proud, The Prom) and Matthew Sklar, the album features music from the Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin-written musical, which made its 2018 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse and tells the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams. Making its premiere alongside today’s preorder is a fan-favorite number from the musical entitled “New Point of View.”

Opening night curtain call for HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast also includes Haven Burton, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Mary Claire King, Lenora Nemetz, Kay Walbye, Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

Based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein, Half Time tells the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team., inspired by the true story of the New Jersey NETSational Seniors. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

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