PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: André De Shields

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: André De Shields
André De Shields — who will co-star in the upcoming Broadway play Impressionism — fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.
Andr Photo by Lia Chang

Full given name: André Robin De Shields
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Audition song: "Shine," lyrics and music by R. C. McPherson and Ford Dabney, popularized by John Bubbles in the Vincente Minnelli film, "Cabin in the Sky"
Special skills: Slap 'yo mama sweet potato pie.
First Broadway show ever saw: The 1969 production of Hello, Dolly! starring Pearl Bailey.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? For its complexity of human emotion, big soul, giant pathos, immensely credible performances and tremendously satisfying coup de théâtre finale, I would catch, for a second time Coram Boy, arguably one of the most misunderstood and under appreciated contemporary plays to ever grace a Broadway stage.
Current show you have been recommending to friends: Jersey Boys, for its quintessentially melody driven score, and its unapologetically brazen, totally successful attempt at sheer entertainment.
Favorite show tune: "If You Believe" from The Wiz.
One CD you couldn't live without: Klaus Schønning's "Melodies of Wellness."
Last book you read: "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave."
Must-see TV show: "Bill Moyer's Journal"
Last good movie you saw: Edward Zwick's "Defiance."
Favorite board game: Scrabble. Favorite butt-kicking word? Syzygy.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Tina Turner.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Hip-hugger bell-bottoms.
First stage kiss: 2005 Classical Theatre of Harlem's production of Caligula.
Favorite post-show meal: Butternut squash gnocchi with a glass of pinot noir at Steve Olsen's West Bank Café.
How you got your Equity card: 1969 production of Hair at Chicago's Shubert Theatre, directed by the late Tom O'Horgan, and choreographed by Julie Arenal.
Worst onstage mishap: 1988, opening night — falling on Nell Carter at the Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland during the tenth anniversary revival, first act finale of Ain’t Misbehavin'. And then having to endlessly explain it to the countless number of patrons who demanded to know why Nell had not attended the opening-night party. Twisted ankle.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition? Dr. of Psychology, testifying for the defense, "Law & Order" "Custody," and grieving father, "Law & Order" "Cost of Capital."
Worst costume ever: Brown corduroy pants and black nylon pullover as the character, Clorox, in The Me Nobody Knows. Youthful, but hardly attractive.
Cats or dogs? No pets, please.
Favorite cereal: Steel cut oats, with soymilk, goji berries, cinnamon and maple syrup.
Who would play you in the movie? Yul Brynner.
Worst job you ever had: Scraping down the walls of chocolate vats—hellishly hot, sickeningly sweet aroma, claustrophobic.
Leading man role you've been dying to play The King in The King and I.
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