Inside André De Shields’ Last Night as Hermes in HADESTOWN and A Proclamation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams Citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day”

Awards, Performances, Photography, Theater

The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and the company of HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields said goodbye to Hermes, the role he originated in Broadway’s Tony Award®-winning Best New Musical, Hadestown on May 29 in grand style. A showstopper at age 76, André was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Grammy Awards for his universally praised role as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. When André made his first entrance, he was greeted with thunderous applause and a three minute standing ovation.

Check out my complete photo and video coverage of the epic night.

André De Shields takes his final bows as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields takes his final bows as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields takes his final bows as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields takes his final bows as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Patrick Page, Tara Jackson, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Grace Yoo, Alex Puette, and Emily Afton during the curtain call for HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields takes his final bows as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Tara Jackson, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Emily Afton, Trent Saunders. Photo by Lia Chang

Tara Jackson, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Grace Yoo, Emily Afton, Trent Saunders, Yael “Yaya” Reich and Sayo Oni. Photo by Lia Chang

Tara Jackson, André De Shields and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Tara Jackson, André De Shields and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

After the curtain call, cast member Kay Trinidad presented André with a bouquet of flowers.

Kay Trinidad presents André De Shields with a bouquet of flowers after his final curtain call in Hadestown at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields during his final curtain call in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Trombonist Brian Drye presented André with a plunger mute signed by the entire band.

Trombonist Brian Drye presented André De Shields with a plunger mute signed by the entire band at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Trombonist Brian Drye presented André De Shields with a plunger mute signed by the entire band at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields with a plunger mute signed by the entire band at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields with a plunger mute signed by the entire band at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Cast member Eva Noblezada showered André with love and affection on behalf of herself, the cast and the company of Hadestown.

André De Shields and Eva Noblezada at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang.

André De Shields and Eva Noblezada at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang.

André De Shields at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang.

André De Shields at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang.

André recently performed “Believe in Yourself” from The Wiz, the Broadway musical in which he originated the title role almost 50 years ago, for New York City Mayor Eric Adams at the Inner Circle’s 98th annual charity show.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams surprised André De Shields onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Mayor Adams surprised André onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” in recognition of André’s “tremendous contributions to our city’s dynamic cultural landscape” and for his commitment as an “activist, philanthropist and educator.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams surprised André De Shields onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

New York City Mayor Eric Adams surprised André De Shields onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

New York City Mayor Eric Adams surprised André De Shields onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

New York City Mayor Eric Adams surprised André De Shields onstage with a proclamation citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day” at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

The Mayoral Proclamation reads, “I am proud to join everyone gathered in applauding this outstanding and alway best-dressed New Yorker who has shaped the history of theater, fostered diversity in the arts, and exemplified the boundless creativity, energy, and generosity that define the five boroughs. Together, we will come back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, reinvigorate our vital artistic community, and rebuild, renew, and reinvent the five boroughs.”

André De Shields with his “André De Shields Day” proclamation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields with his “André De Shields Day” proclamation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

And while there were requests for a final curtain speech, André chose to share “Believe in Yourself” with his final Hadestown audience. There was a collective gasp in the house and the crowd went wild!!

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields sang “Believe in Yourself” to close out the night. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning more than half a century, André De Shields has acquired a number of sobriquets, among them–“Broadway Deity,” “Professional Charmer” and “Papa Dré.” De Shields has also distinguished himself as director, philanthropist and educator. His defining theatrical performances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony Award nomination), Play On! (Tony Award nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and the titular role in The Wiz. Currently, De Shields is experiencing growing pains as he prepares for his next adventure as Actor/Activist, eradicating the inauthentic while elevating the inexplicable. Ubuntu! www.andredeshields.com

Danielle Mellmann, Rob Laqui, Kendra Holloway, Producer Mara Isaacs, Taneisha Duggan, Seth Mellman. Photo by Lia Chang

Sold-out house at André De Shields’ final performance as Hermes in HADESTOWN at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and New York City Mayor Eric Adams at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and New York City Mayor Eric Adams at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

“André De Shields Day” proclamation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Producers Hunter Arnold, Mara Isaacs, Tom Kirdahy and Dale Franzen backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Backstage goodbyes at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Signed HADESTOWN posters and playbills backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields’ dressing room sign at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Music Directors Liam Robinson and Sean Mayes with André De Shields backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN cast members lined the stairwell backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York for a final champagne toast with André De Shields on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN cast members lined the stairwell backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York for a final champagne toast with André De Shields on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Flowers in André De Shields’ dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in his dressing room with his dresser at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields with Amber Gray in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Choreographer David Neumann in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Soara-Joye Ross, Dale Franzen, Jessie Shelton, Amber Gray, Kay Trinidad backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Producer Dale Franzen and André De Shields backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Trent Saunders carries a larger than life painting of André De Shields as Hermes by Shannon Almanzar. Photo by Lia Chang

Trent Saunders, Jessie Shelton and André De Shields backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Malcolm Armwood backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Tara Jackson, who played Persephone at the show on May 29, 2022, backstage at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Seated: Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada. Standing: Yael “Yaya” Reich, Trent Saunders, Tara Jackson, Malcolm Armwood, Emily Afton, Alex Puette, Rudy Bamenga, Davis Wayne and Sayo Oni in the men’s ensemble dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in his dressing room at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields’ Hermes costume at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on May 29, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The ghost light at The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

André will return to Broadway in the Fall with Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke in the Young Vic production of Death of Salesman.

He can currently be seen as Purple Presley in Season 3 of Apple TV+ HELPSTERS.

Mr. Primm and André De Shields in “Helpsters,” premiering globally May 27, 2022 on Apple TV+. Photo: Apple TV+

André recently celebrated National Honor Our LGBTQ Elders Day in Las Vegas with Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez.

Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez and André De Shields at The Barbershop at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on April 4, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez Celebrate National Honor Our LGBTQ Elders Day in Las Vegas

You can catch André on PBS, beginning Wednesday, June 4 in the TRUE COLORS LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs Concert with Maestro Luke Frazier’s American Pops Orchestra.

Jujubee, Peppermint, André De Shields, Chris Colfer, and Alexis Michelle. Photo by Lia Chang

On Sunday, June 12 at 2:00pm, the 2022 Tribeca Festival™ Storyteller Series is presenting Tony winner Cynthia Erivo Goes Back to Broadway, an intimate conversation between Ms. Erivo and Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning Hadestown star André De Shields as they discuss Broadway’s comeback, at The Indeed Theater at Spring Studios, 50 Varick St. in New York.

Cynthia Erivo. Photo by Elfe Cimicata; André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, June 13, André will receive the Red Bull Theater’s Matador Award for Achievement in Classical Theater at the REVELRY Benefit Gala.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

On Sunday, June 19, André will perform excerpts from his solo show, André De Shields is Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory for two performances only, at Flushing Town Hall.

André De Shields as Frederick Douglass in his 2021 performance at Flushing Town Hall (credit: Lia Chang)

This summer, André will star in a limited engagement of the World Premiere of Matthew Lombardo’s When Playwrights Kill, July 26 through August 7, 2022 at The Bushnell’s Belding Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut.

Jeremy Jordan, Harriet Harris, and André De Shields star in Matthew Lombardo’s When Playwrights Kill, directed by Noah Himmelstein, at the Bushnell’s Belding Theatre.
(© Matthew Murphy / Lia Chang)

André De Shields, Harriet Harris and Jeremy Jordan Set for the World Premiere of Matthew Lombardo’s WHEN PLAYWRIGHTS KILL at The Bushnell’s Belding Theatre

André De Shields, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Colfer, Amy Schneider, Morgxn, Indigo Girls, Breanna Sinclairé, Drag Artists Peppermint, Alexis Michelle, Juju-bee and More Set for TRUE COLORS LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs with Maestro Luke Frazier’s American Pops Orchestra on PBS beginning June 4

Apple TV+ HELPSTERS Season Three adds André De Shields, Japanese Breakfast, James Monroe Iglehart, Bradley Cooper, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Alex Song-Xia and More

André De Shields and Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez Celebrate National Honor Our LGBTQ Elders Day in Las Vegas

Jun. 12: The 2022 Tribeca Festival™ Storyteller Series: Cynthia Erivo: BACK TO BROADWAY with André De Shields

Jun 13: André De Shields to Receive Red Bull Theater’s Matador Award for Achievement in Classical Theater at REVELRY Benefit Gala

Flushing Town Hall to Present the Masterful “André De Shields is Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” for Two Performances Only on Juneteenth

André De Shields, Harriet Harris and Jeremy Jordan Set for the World Premiere of Matthew Lombardo’s WHEN PLAYWRIGHTS KILL at The Bushnell’s Belding Theatre

BWW Feature: The Best of 2021 Cabaret, Club, and Concert André De Shields: BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: A MUSICAL MEDITATION ON HOW NOT TO BE EATEN BY THE SPHINX Wins 2021 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award

Inside the 2022 Outer Critics Circle Awards with André De Shields, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Kristina Wong, La Chanze, Jaquel Spivey, Uzo Aduba, Sanaz Toossi, Matt Doyle, David Lindsay-Abaire and More

My day began with the Hadestown matinee with Lori Tan Chinn and Mary Alice and dinner at La Masseria. Special thanks to Mara Isaacs for the extra ticket to the evening show and Rob Laqui for the video assist.

André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Malcolm Armwood

Lia Chang

LIA CHANG is a Chinese-American actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Lia moved to New York from her home in San Francisco when she was 17 years of age and made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet. She spent many years working extensively Off-Broadway, including Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago. Her film work includes Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. The decades of being viewed by others through the narrow lens of “Asian actor” in the industry brought Lia to a turning point, and she picked up her camera, determined to create awareness by documenting the work and the lives of her BIPOC colleagues, resulting in the creation of thousands of photographs and pieces of video. Her photo archives are housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room under “Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011” and in the “Lia Chang Photography Collection” in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Lia’s awards include the 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media and the 2022 Prospect Muse Award. She is also an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate, a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age, a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media, and a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. More recently, Lia co-founded Bev’s Girl Films, which makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She executive produced and starred in the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia is honored to have worked with Prospect Theater Company on a shared mission of lifting up BIPOC theater artists and creating a more diverse and inclusive musical theater canon. A retrospective of Lia’s photographs will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York later this year, documenting her BIPOC colleagues and contemporaries in the performing arts, which will include photos of Prospect Theater Company artists at work. www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com