Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields, who portrayed the title character in The Wiz 40 years ago as of January 2015, brought the house down at Carnegie Hall on Monday, June 23, 2014, where he sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in his original Broadway costume as part of The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream.
The black tie gala concert presented by Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts, David H. Greer, Paula Marie Black, Stephen C. Byrd, in association with Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art, Queensborough Performing Arts Center and the California African American Museum, was an all-male tribute honoring jazz musicians Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, and Paul Robeson that celebrated 100 years of jazz at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway and the 40th Anniversary of The Wiz, and featured the largest cast of African American Men of the Broadway stage at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.
Norm Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen presented awards to Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson, Stephen C. Byrd, Harold Wheeler, Noble Sissle, Larry Hamlin, Berry Gordy, Luther Henderson, Donald McKayle, and Robert Guillaume.
“The good Lord created black people, and black people created everything else!” said André De Shields, when he took the stage on Monday night at Carnegie Hall in New York during The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream.
The New York Times‘ Stephen Holden writes,
“That uproarious zinger delivered by the cheeky, outspoken latter-day vaudevillian Andre De Shields was the best one-liner in “Black Stars of the Great White Way,” a sprawling nostalgic extravaganza at Carnegie Hall on Monday evening celebrating the contributions of African-American men to Broadway over the last century.
Mr. Roberts’s first all-star show took place in 2013. Monday’s performance, subtitled “Live the Dream!,” was a reunion that commemorated 100 years of African-American theater music and dance with a special emphasis on “The Wiz,” which opened on Broadway 40 years ago next January. Mr. De Shields, who played the title role in “The Wiz,” sang its uplifting anthem, “Believe in Yourself,” as he swirled around the stage in a flamboyant red-and-white costume with cape.”
Check out the video excerpt from André De Shields’ performance.
Click on the link to The New York Times article to read the full music review.
The New York Times: Gentlemen Take a Bow in a Theater Tribute
Featured performers included Guy Davis, Longineu Parsons, Norm Lewis, Keith David, Chuck Cooper, Ben Vereen, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls, cast members from the original cast of Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk and more. The program also featured the New York premieres of David Alan Bunn’s Live The Dream Overture – A Soulful Fanfare and Chapman Roberts/William Foster McDaniel Legacy, in additions to selections by Blake, Jordan, Waller / Henderson, Ellington, and other Broadway favorites. Check back for my featured highlights of the night in photos and video.
The veritable who’s who of performers, dancers, musicians and composers including:
Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, James Monroe Iglehart, Larry Marshall, Kevin Ramsey, Glenn Turner, Doug Eskew, Milton Craig Neeley, Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter, Ben Harney, Cleavant Derricks, Adrian Bailey, Marcus Naylor, Rome Neal, Leotis Clyburn, Branden Cook, Brandon Bain, Avon Long, David Helper, Raun Ruffin, Jason Cook, Lee Summers, Stanley Hopkins, Claude Jay, Forest Ray, Keith David, Rob “Ike” Barnes, Bobby Harden, Obba Babatunde, Kirk Taylor, Wilkie Ferguson, Lacy Darryl Phillips, Clent Bowers, Avon Marshall, Scott J. Foster, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kenneth Kamal Scott, Raymond Patterson, D’Ambrose Boyd, Ken Ard, Thom Scott, C.E. Smith, Johnathan Lee Iverson, Torrence Bristow, Jayson Kolbicz, and Clifton Davis.
Derek Grant, Bakaari Wilder, Jason Samuel Smith, Joseph Web, Dule Hill, Vincent Bingham, Omar Edwards, and Alde Lewis.
Frank Owens, David Alan Bunn, William Foster McDaniel, Kenny Seymour, Julius Williams, and Abdul Hamid Royal (Piano)
Conductors Sipho Kunene and Buddy Williams, Clyde Bullard (Drums), Bass Keith Robinson (Bass) and Van Gibbs (Guitar).
Featuring “Broadway Brown”, Youth Cast Members from The Lion King, Matilda, Motown, Kinky Boots, Scottsboro Boys, Raisin in the Sun and South Pacific, including Douglas Baldeo, Guy Barfield, Judah Bellamy, Cole Bullock, Nile Bullock, Niles Fitch, Jeremy Gumbs, Robert (Kyle) Harris, Ryan Harris, Joshua Jackson, Alphonso Jones, Jaden Jordon, Aubrey Omari Joseph, Luke Kain, Darius Kaleb, Clifford Lee, D’Andre Lee, Raymond Luke, Jr., Caleb McLaughlin, Marquis Neal and Chris Sumpter.
Other articles on Andre De Shields:
Nov. 17: Chapman Roberts, Loretta Abbott, André De Shields, David Greer, Norm Lewis, Cherine Anderson, Lawrence Evans, Colby Christina & Nicholas A. Jenkins to Receive Special AUDELCO Awards
June 23: André De Shields, Billy Porter, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts and More Set for The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Jun. 23: Norm Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen Set to Present Awards at The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
May 8: New Dramatists Presents Reading of Lonnie Carter’s Bronzeville Featuring André De Shields, Nambi Evelyn Kelley, April Matthis, and Danyon Davis
André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Among 4 Elliot Norton Award Nominations for Huntington’s World Premiere of The Jungle Book, a co-production with The Goodman
André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo and More Set for DTC’s World Premiere Musical The Fortress of Solitude, A Co-Production with The Public Theater
André De Shields to receive 2014 Making Waves Award; will perform “Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” at Florida Atlantic University
Nov. 16: Conversations with the Divine with Owais Ahmed, Baize Buzan, Kathryn Cesarz, Kamal Hans, Brian Grey, Donica Lynn, Patrese McClain and Miranda Zola at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
André De Shields Delivers Keynote at the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans in New Orleans
Photos: André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Akash Chopra, Richard M. Sherman, Kevin Carolan, Larry Yando, Nehal Joshi and More Celebrate The Jungle Book Opening Night at Huntington Theatre in Boston
Click here for more articles on André De Shields.
Other articles by Lia Chang:
Geoffrey Holder, Artist, Dancer, Choreographer, Two-Time Tony Award-winning Director and Costume Designer for The Wiz, Dies at 84; Son Pens Intimate Account of Last Days
Two-Time Tony Award-winning Actress Marian Seldes, Dies at 86
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
Jun 25: Garth Kravits, Britt Bonney, Erik Jareth Ransom, Julia Meinwald, Claire Fornarola, David Ingber Set for TUNE IN TIME at Stage 72
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Ruby Dee, Actress and Activist, 1922 – 2014
David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage Appointed to the Playwriting Faculty of Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program
A.C.T.’s Production Photos of The Orphan of Zhao starring BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More, Opens June 11
Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis’ ‘it could be worse’ Series Featuring Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Fraser, Gideon Glick and More Airs on Pivot TV in June; and on Hulu in July
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
May 12: Tony Award Nominee Norm Lewis Debuts as ‘The Phantom’ and Sierra Boggess Returns as Christine in Phantom of The Opera
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
May 20: George Gee Swing Orchestra CD – “Swing Makes You Happy!” Party at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Photos: The George Gee Swing Orchestra at SWING46; Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New CD, Swing Makes You Happy
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Jun. 22 – July 27: Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Set for Old Globe Debut in OTHELLO
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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