Red Bull Theater honors Hadestown Tony winner André De Shields with the Matador Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Classical Theater during the company's Revelry benefit event June 13 on the terrace of the Bowery Hotel.
"Being together again never sounded so good. After over two years of covering our faces and social distancing, the time finally seems to be right for us to be able to gather our community—and revel! We have so much to celebrate at our Revelry benefit this year. In addition to honoring the glorious André De Shields for his extraordinary achievements as an actor (and his work with the classics in particular), we can’t wait to celebrate all the wonderful work and resilience of our community over the past two years—and to revel in the joy of being able to plan our upcoming return to full in-person programming!,” said Red Bull Founder and Artistic Director Jesse Berger in an earlier statement.
The Matador Award for Achievement in Classical Theater, launched in 2009, is given annually to recognize individuals or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary talent, service, or significant achievement in the classical theatre. Previous honorees include F. Murray Abraham, Kate Burton, Olympia Dukakis, Richard Easton, Oscar Isaac, Michael Kahn, Hamish Linklater, Ismenia Mendes, Jack O’Brien, Patrick Page, Martha Plimpton, Lily Rabe, Condola Rashad, Matthew Rauch, Lynn Redgrave, Olivia Reis, Liev Schreiber, Patrick Stewart, Michael Stuhlbarg, Daniel Sullivan, Michael Urie, Charlayne Woodard, the American Theatre Wing, Fund for the City of New York, the Michael Tuch Foundation, and the Off-Broadway Angels.
De Shields garnered Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for his performance as Hermes in the Tony-winning musical Hadestown. He created the role of The Wiz in the 1975 hit musical The Wiz; among his other Broadway credits are André DeShields' Haarlem Nocturne, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Stardust, Play On! (Tony nomination), The Full Monty (Tony nomination), Prymate, and Impressionism. The actor has also been praised for his classical work, including King Lear (St. Louis Theater Circle Award winner for Outstanding Leading Performer in a Drama), Classical Theater of Harlem, and Red Bull’s The Witch of Edmonton and Volpone. Next season, De Shields will star in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman as Willy Loman's brother Ben.
De Shields had been scheduled to receive the Matador Award in March 2020, but the evening was postponed due to the pandemic.