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Performer, Choreographer, Director, Writer, Composer, Lyricist

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Black Theatre - African/American Voices

Originally posted on Facebook.com 
November 22, 2014
 
And then … André De Shields stepped out on stage. This was after the eloquent (outstanding pioneer) acceptance speech of Chapman Roberts and his moving recall of how music (literally) saved his life in the military. And George Faison having introduced Loretta Abbot and revealed how she had been his inspiration for the dancer’s dancer and choreographer that he became. And watching Loretta (with her usual modesty) accept her special achievement award and then favor us by dancing off the stage. And Leslie Dockery, (best choreography) who was so verklempt she could barely speak (but that didn’t stop her. We love Leslie.) There were the children, (Colby Christina and Nicolas Aaron Jenkins) shiny faced, articulate, endearing and smart as whippets accepting their “rising star awards,” thereby assuring us that the theater is (indeed) in good hands.

Then without fanfare … André de Shields stepped out on stage and reminded us (as if we needed to be) of what he does and why he IS (Special Achievement) who he IS. Andre, in his legendary whiskey voice, his neo breath control and immaculate interpretation, delivered a seductive, heart wrenching lullaby of “ Believe in Yourself” and had the place in tears. Especially me. Thank you Jeffery (my date) Thompson for holding my hand. I detest slobbering in public. Thank you, AUDELCO for validating who we are… whose we are. Thank you to Perri Gaffney and Claude Jay for keeping it brisk and polished. To the nominees, the winners, to the children, the special achievers, Grace Jones and anyone else whom I have not mentioned by name.

And thank you, André De Shields!!! Brava! Brava! Brava!

BY BWW News Desk •  November 13, 2014

Award-winning Broadway star André De Shields will be adding another honor to his mantle when he accepts the "2014 AUDELCO Award for Special Achievement" at The 42nd Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, on Monday, November 17. The annual event will be held at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway (at 95 Street) at 7:00 PM.

The AUDELCO Awards ceremony honors those who dedicate their lives and talent to entertaining through Black Theatre. The evening will captivate you with majestic music and rich history as AUDELCO pays homage to those who have paved the road as well as rising stars who are blazing their own trails.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, De Shields, who is currently performing in THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE at the Public Theater through Sunday, November 16, has received two Tony Award nominations, an Emmy Award, the National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, a Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, among many others. De Shields is best known for his show stopping performances in the original Broadway productions of four legendary musicals: The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain't Misbehavin' and The Wiz (title role).

Also receiving Special Achievement awards will be Norm LewisLoretta Abbott and David Greer. The Outstanding Pioneer Award will be given to Chapman Roberts. For tickets and information call 212-864-5400 or online


Photo by Lia Chang

LAST CHANCE: What's Closing This Week Nov 16
The Fortress of Solitude
at the Public Theater

By  Michael Gioia  •    
The Fortress of Solitude a world premiere musical with a book by Itamar Moses and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, is now in performances at the Public Theater.

Based on the nationally best-selling novel of the same name by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude is a coming-of-age story that takes place in 1970s Brooklyn and beyond.

Conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, the complete cast features Ken Barnett (Abraham Ebdus), Kyle Beltran (Mingus), Adam Chanler-Berat (Dylan), André de Shields (Senior), Carla Duren (Marilla), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Lala, Abby), Jahi Kearse (Raf, Henry, Desmond, Jared), Kevin Mambo (Junior), Malaiyka Reid (Swing), Noah Ricketts (Swing), David Rossmer (Arthur), Conor Ryan (Radio Guy, Mike, Gabe), Kristen Sieh (Rachel Ebdus), Britton Smith (Subtle Distinction), Brian Tyree Henry (Robert), Akron Watson (Subtle Distinction), Alison Whitehurst (Skater Girl, Liza), and Juson Williams (Subtle Distinction). Visit PublicTheater.org.

A Sneak (Video) Peek at
The Fortress of Solitude

at the Public Theater

Fortress-vid
By By  •  • New York City   
The Fortress of Solitude a world premiere musical with a book by Itamar Moses and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, is now in performances at the Public Theater.

Based on the nationally best-selling novel of the same name by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude is a coming-of-age story that takes place in 1970s Brooklyn and beyond.

Conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, the complete cast features Ken Barnett (Abraham Ebdus), Kyle Beltran (Mingus), Adam Chanler-Berat (Dylan), André de Shields (Senior), Carla Duren (Marilla), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Lala, Abby), Jahi Kearse (Raf, Henry, Desmond, Jared), Kevin Mambo (Junior), Malaiyka Reid (Swing), Noah Ricketts (Swing), David Rossmer (Arthur), Conor Ryan (Radio Guy, Mike, Gabe), Kristen Sieh (Rachel Ebdus), Britton Smith (Subtle Distinction), Brian Tyree Henry (Robert), Akron Watson (Subtle Distinction), Alison Whitehurst (Skater Girl, Liza), and Juson Williams (Subtle Distinction). Take a look below at some footage from the production, running only two more weeks through November 2.

The Fortress of Solitude,
Starring Kyle Beltran
& Adam Chanler-Berat, Begins
Performances Off-Broadway

By Broadway.com Staff 
September 30, 2014
 
The Fortress of Solitude begins performances off-Broadway at the Public's Newman Theater on September 30. The new musical, with a book by Itamar Moses and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, will run through November 2. Directed by Daniel Aukin, opening night is scheduled for October 22.

Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude is a coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond. It tells the story of two teenagers obsessed with superheroes who believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.

The cast includes Kyle Beltran, Adam Chanler-Berat, Ken Barnett, André de Shields, Carla Duren, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jahi Kearse, Kevin Mambo, David Rossmer, Conor Ryan, Kristen Sieh, Brian Tyree Henry, Alison Whitehurst, Malaiyka Reid, Noah Ricketts, Britton Smith, Akron Watson and Juson Williams.
Above performance image property of Lia Chang
website design: Winston
© André De Shields