This spring De Shields premiered Black By Popular Demand at the Beechman. The Emmy-winning performer has been a longtime figure in the cabaret scene, with hit shows at Reno Sweeney, Horn of Plenty, The Grand Finale, Les Mouches and The Club at La MaMa in the 1970's.
De Shields will also be a part of the Justin Levine musical Bonfire Night at the NAMT Festival of New Musicals in October.
De Shields is the recipient of the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, the 2009 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical/Male (Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe), and the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields is best known for his performances in the original Broadway productions of four musicals: The Full Monty, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations, in addition to both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards; Play On! (Tony nomination); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award); and The Wiz (title role).
The Laurie Beechman Theatre Downstairs at The West Bank Café is located at 407 West 42nd Street. Tickets are $25 with a $15 food/beverage minimum. Tickets are available at smarttix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444.