André De Shields

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André De Shields is an African-American actor, singer, director, dancer, novelist, choreographer, lyricist, composer, and professor. De Shields began his professional career in the 1969 Chicago production of HAIR, which led to a role in The Me Nobody Knows and participation in Chicagos Organic Theater Company.

Biography

André De Shields is an African-American actor, singer, director, dancer, novelist, choreographer, lyricist, composer, and professor. De Shields began his professional career in the 1969 Chicago production of HAIR, which led to a role in The Me Nobody Knows and participation in Chicagos Organic Theater Company. He performed in a number of off-off-Broadway productions at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the East Village of Manhattan during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. He made his Broadway debut as Xander in Stuart Gordons 1973 Warp! and next appeared in Paul Jabaras 1973 Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Dont You Ever Forget It), which closed during previews. He then appeared in the title role of The Wiz, Charlie Smalls and William F. Browns 1975 musical directed by Geoffrey Holder. After choreographing two Bette Midler musicals, De Shields returned to Broadway to perform in the musical revue Aint Misbehavin in 1978. The original production ran for over 1,600 shows and De Shields earned a 1978 Drama Desk nomination for his performance. In 2000, De Shields originated the role of Noah Horse T. Simmons in the Terrence McNally / David Yazbek musical adaptation of the film The Full Monty. As with an earlier musicial Play On!