Photos and Video: Tony, Grammy and Emmy Winning HADESTOWN Star André De Shields, Choir Students from His Alma Mater, Baltimore City College, Rehearse for Dec. 3,4, 5 Concerts with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Music, Performances, Photography, Theater

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is presenting An Evening with Tony, Grammy and Emmy Winning Hadestown Star André De Shields, Friday, December 3 – Sunday, December 5, 2021 in Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

André De Shields in rehearsal at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

The Baltimore native returns to his hometown to tell the story of Charm City and its influence on his journey to personal success, alongside the BSO, with conductor Andy Einhorn.

Sean Mayes is music directing, orchestrating and arranging this concert series. De Shields will be joined by vocalists Debbi Blackwell-Cook, Lori Tishfield, and Freida Williams, and the Baltimore City College Choir.

Freida Williams, André De Shields, Sean Mayes, Debbi Blackwell-Cook, Conductor Andy Einhorn, Accompanist W. Patrick Alston, Sr. Lori Tishfield and Baltimore City College Choir Director Marcus D. Smith at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

11/30/21 Baltimore City College

André is in town for the week to prepare and on Tuesday, his first stop after arriving at Baltimore Penn Station via Amtrak was his alma mater, Baltimore City College, for a rehearsal with the Baltimore City College Choir.

Baltimore City College. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields returns to his alma mater, Baltimore City College in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Baltimore City College, also referred to as B.C.C., City, City College, and The Castle on the Hill, is the third oldest continuously public high school in the United States. He’s a proud member of the class of 1964 and a member of the City College Hall of Fame- a Notable Knight of the Baltimore City College. 

André De Shields and Company with the Baltimore City College Choir at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

“1964, City Forever!, said De Shields in greeting the students. “And you know how much sense it makes now that we are Black Knights? Because, before I was wondering. Where’s the Black? Now, it’s here. I love it! Castle on the Hill! A·right. Even it you weren’t singing this song, if we attend the castle on the hill, we got to stand tall. Right? We’re still one of the most revered college preparatory high schools in the nation. So, I’ve come home to experience all of that. I’m so glad to be part of your effort. Right! Because, I’ve already got my Tony. Now, I want the world to see how I got it, by growing up in Baltimore, my attending Baltimore City College, by having the school and the city in my blood, so that when we do, ‘if it’s true what they say, I’ll be on my way, any’ -and then I want you to sing with me. We’re not singing, we’re Sanging!” Check out video below.


Andy Einhorn, André De Shields and Sean Mayes in rehearsal with the Baltimore City College Choir at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Andy Einhorn, André De Shields and Sean Mayes in rehearsal with the Baltimore City College Choir at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Click here for tickets

OffStage: An Evening with André De Shields Premieres Fri, Dec 3 at 8pm

Please note that concert livestreams are available starting at their premiere date and time, with recordings of those livestreams available on the next business day for up to two weeks after their premiere date.

A separate login is required to access the BSO OffStage site and all users will require a new login for the 21-22 season (including previous OffStage users). If you do not already have a 21-22 BSO OffStage login, you will receive an email with further login instructions after you complete your purchase. Click here for digital tickets at $9.99.

12/1/21 Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

12/1/21 Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

12/2/21Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

André De Shields, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore City College Choir in rehearsal at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

A showstopper at the age of 75, De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season, securing a Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Award. In an illustrious career that has spanned more than half century, he has distinguished himself as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright and educator, getting his start as the title character in The Wiz. De Shields picked up an Emmy for his performance as the Viper in the NBC special Ain’t Misbehavin’, two Tony nominations for Play On! and The Full Monty, and has established himself as a veritable cabaret king — choreographing two shows for Bette Midler and creating six solo theatrical concerts. In 2019 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. De Shields starred in his breakout role, the title character in The Wiz, which ran for more than 1,600 performances and won seven Tony Awards – including best musical. He starred in the original cast of the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, a role he later revived, directed, and choreographed for the 30th anniversary run. Andre’s first Tony nomination was for Play On!, a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, featuring Duke Ellington’s music. He received another Tony nomination in 2001 for The Full Monty. De Shields’ other Broadway credits include Impressionism and Prymate. De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the ’70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue André De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne. More recent cabaret appearances have included Feinstein’s/54 Below, The Cabaret, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, Joe’s Pub, Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York, Old School Square’s Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Fl. and Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. He is a recipient of the 2018 Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. De Shields recently starred in the title role of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s King Lear. On opening night, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones issued a Mayoral Proclamation naming June 4, 2021 as “King Lear/André De Shields Day”. New York Senator Brad Hoylman presented Mr. De Shields with a Senate Proclamation on April 8th, 2021 proclaiming the day “André De Shields Appreciation Day”. The surprise proclamation was arranged by producer Tom D’Angora to honor the extensive charity work and activism, along with the public appearances, Mr. De Shields has done for the community this year.

De Shields is the recipient of the 2021 John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In 2020, he received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. 2019 honors include The Actors’ Equity Foundation Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year, the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, and The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, among others. He was also inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019.

André De Shields receives the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Jack Young in the Ceremonial Room of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Other accolades include the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV roles include Keys, who first appeared in a 2014 episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” He has also appeared on “Law and Order” twice, as Dr. Elvin Simmonds (Custody,1996) and Mr. Miller (Cost of Capital,2006); Dale Rustin on NBC’s “New Amsterdam”; Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” on Netflix; Chubby in “Katy Keene” on the CW; and Wyndham on “Almost Family.” He stars in Foxing’s new music video, Draw Down the Moon, and can be heard on the podcasts Live From Mount Olympus as Hermes and One Speckled Hen. He can be seen in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! and as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch and Carl Andress’ comedy film, The Sixth Reel. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.

André De Shields, Frieda Williams, Lori Tishfield, Debbi Blackwell-Cook and Sean Mayes in rehearsal at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

A Responsible Return to the Concert Hall

In welcoming audiences back to its concert halls, the BSO will implement a number of COVID-related measures. Together with our partners at The Music Center at Strathmore, the BSO is Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR certified, ensuring high-level cleaning and disinfection efforts and infectious disease prevention methods. In maintaining a commitment to compliance with local public health and government officials for protocols, restrictions, and mandates, the BSO will also continue to offer flexible ticket exchanges and refunds.

In addition to a robust and responsibly presented in-person season, the BSO will also expand its digital platform curated during the pandemic with new accessibility through live-streamed performances and the return of the highly acclaimed docuseries BSO Sessions. Live-streamed performances for most Pops and Classical series subscription programs from the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall stage will be made available to subscribers for free. Non-subscribers may access the streams for a nominal fee.

Informed by the BSO’s recommitment to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a newly crafted code of conduct has been implemented to ensure a welcoming, comfortable, and enjoyable environment in which all individuals – patrons, staff, artists, and volunteers – are treated with humanity, respect, and dignity at both the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and The Music at Strathmore.

About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 

For over a century, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has been recognized as one of America’s leading orchestras and one of Maryland’s most significant cultural institutions. Under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, the orchestra is internationally renowned and locally admired for its innovation, performances, recordings, and educational outreach initiatives including OrchKids. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs annually for more than 275,000 people throughout the State of Maryland. Since 1982, the BSO has performed at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, and since 2005, with the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra performing its full season of classical and pops concerts in two metropolitan areas.

The Baltimore Sun: In Baltimore homecoming, Tony winner André De Shields takes center stage at BSO with help of his alma mater, City College

Baltimore Magazine: André De Shields’ BSO Performances Will Honor Baltimore’s Past And Future

MD Theatre Guide: – Quick 5’ with Sean Mayes, Musical Director/Orchestrator/Arranger for ‘An Evening with André De Shields’ at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra André De Shields: A conversation with the “King of Broadway Baltimore native Andre de Shields returns for performance alongside BSO

Washington City Paper City Lights: André De Shields Goes Home

André De Shields, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore City College Choir in rehearsal at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang in the parking lot of West Valley Performing Arts Center in West Valley City, Utah. Photo by Amanda Morton

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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. 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

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