January 31, 2023


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Andrew de Shields speaks with Tony Win and Black Lives Matter

3 min read

Theater is fleeting by nature and those like it who pave the way for inclusion on stage – those who display chips that play a role of imperfection in the role – are sometimes forgotten.

Like the performers Lilia White And Andre de Shields, The Brandway Advocacy Coalition The way the Broadway Advocacy Coalition set up a living monument to Black Broadway in New York City on Tuesday night, the roles are so numerous that they sit together.

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, an active group leading the conversation about breaking down ethnic power structures in American theater, has combined the two-stage legend as part of their new virtual series, BroadwayVS. While Cody Renard Richards was raising money for the scholarship in honor of White and de Shields, the evening served as a continuation of the community’s ongoing thinking about what lies ahead for Broadway, while its lighting remains dark.

“The universe recreates itself for our enjoyment,” said De Shields, the title character of “The Wiz.” In 1973, he appeared on shows such as “Law Misbahvin” “Play!” And won his first Tony Award at the age of 3 for his role as Hermes in “Full Monty” and “Headstone” last year.

It took me 51 years as a professional performing worker to get my brass ring, my gold trophy. Speaking of the Tony Awards, he added on Broadway with the signature of a larger count of black artists, eighty-five years of sowing seeds and finally my harvest.

“It’s actually a time of reflection, a time of rest. It’s time to look in the mirror and dig into what makes us so scared of each other, “said White, who started in 1991 as a replacement for EF in” Dreamgirls “at 19., ” Tony won the lead role in “The Life” in 1999 And appeared in the original productions of “Barnum,” “Cat”, “Once on this Island” and “Fela”!

Hosted by Amber Faith And produced by Schubert’s company, BroadwayVS also featured business songs from White and De Shields of their careers, including “Donut Rain in My Parade” and White’s signature presentation for De Shields, “You Wanted to Wizard.” Like the stars Adra McDonald, Ken Page, Mark Shayman And Jerry Mitchell Sent their virtual greetings to the legendary actors who were awarded the BAC’s Broadway Advocacy Legacy Award.

Unexpectedly, Broadway VS has become something transient for a moment – telling oral history

Charlene Woodward Preserved production of “Miss Mishevin” De Shields recounts, when he set foot to replace Irene Kara, Who produced the film “Fame” Just before the show moved to Broadway. “Do you want to sing? Just the song, ”was the suggestion Betty Carter The blue note bar gave White one night.

Both spoke of artists who have made their success possible. “I’m looking at John W. Sublet, the museum’s live-in ‘Purge and Base’ for making Garswin’s Sportin. I’m looking at Sidney Poitier. I’m looking at Paul Robeson. I’m looking at Jeffrey Holder,” De Shields said. “And I look at the young people who took to the streets earlier this year, emphasizing the importance of black life,” points to a key thread woven into the evening: for many in theater – and indeed, for many black artists who rely on the community to weather the flow of art. It takes a gram to change.

The night ended with the music of “Believe Yourself” from “Wiz.”And a concluding thought given by De Shields: “Broadway is resting now,” he said, “just because it knows it’s got a lot harder to do.”

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