In 2019, André De Shields celebrated five decades as a theater artist and at the age of 73 he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his role as Hermes in Anais Mitchell's HADESTOWN, currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
The Baltimore native recently received a Key to the City and a Mayoral Salute from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in the Rotunda at Baltimore City Hall, two months after taking home his first Tony Award.
André shared his 3 cardinal rules for sustainability and longevity in the arts during his acceptance speech:
1. Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming.
2. Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.
3. The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.
If anyone deserves a special award from critics, it’s De Shields. Nobody moves with such elegance, silkiness and charisma. The 73-year-old lifting one finger on a note in a dance number is more powerful than a hundred chorus girls tapping their brains out in “42nd Street.”
The three-time Tony nominee won raves in “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” in 1978, was brilliant in “The Full Monty” and is sensational in “Hadestown.” -Michael Riedel, New York Post
"André De Shields is a Broadway Deity." - New York Magazine
"André De Shields, who plays Hermes, is a national treasure." -Rollo Romig, The New Yorker
"André De Shields is a treasure. Dressed in a sharkskin suit, he leads us along with all the charisma and purpose of a Mardi Gras guide, with both joy and a hint of, if not malice, then pragmatism." -Deadline
"Hermes the messenger god, played sublimely by Andre De Shields, the very epitome of cool…He’s completely spellbinding, with hints of mischief and mystery. There’s so much style in everything he does." - Tim Bano, The Stage
"André De Shields, the original Broadway Wiz in ‘The Wiz’, is scene-stealingly brilliant as a suavely shamanic Hermes." - Andrezej Lukowski, Time Out London
"Our core performers…De Shields…expertly conceived performances that blend the power of musical storytelling with sensitively characterised portrayals. Their performances are shaded with the confidence and poise, and they become robust emotional canvasses whom we can trust with sharing Mitchell’s story with us." -Adam Bruce, UK Review
"...the wonderful, charismatic André De Shields as Hermes channels Smokey Robinson in a shiny suit and introduces the action and its meaning." - Sarah Crompton, What's On Stage