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Video: André De Shields Talks 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award and More

Video: André De Shields Talks 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award and More


The hits just keep coming for HADESTOWN star André De Shields, who will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame at the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre on November 18.

André De Shields with his Tony Award in the Ceremonial Room of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019.

In this interview, the 2019 Tony Award winner talks about having a social contract with Baltimore, the significance of going home to receive the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young and serving 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.

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, or go online at

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 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. 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.

Photo Credit: Lia Chang


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