On May 29, 2022, André De Shields took his final bow as Hermes in Broadway’s Hadestown. De Shields originated the role of Hermes in the original musical Hadestown. He was awarded the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 2019 for his performance. He was also awarded Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards that same season.
André De Shields Day
The performance was sold out. New York City Mayor Eric Adams was in attendance. He concluded the evening by joining De Shields onstage and handing him a framed Proclamation. For his “tremendous contributions to our city’s dynamic cultural landscape,” Adams proclaimed May 29 as André De Shields Day, per Playbill.com.
De Shields, who originated the titular role in the beloved musical The Wiz in 1975, sang from the show during his final Hadestown curtain call. The song “Believe in Yourself” by Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown’s in their Tony-winning musical was an apt choice for De Shields’ departure from Hadestown.
Hopping From One Broadway Stage to the Next
André De Shields’ website refers to the Tony-winning, Broadway and New York legend as “Broadway Deity,” “Professional Charmer,” and “Papa Dré.” His work in the Broadway community and general world of entertainment has been wowing audiences since the 1960s. And at 76 years old, the legendary actor isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The Broadway Deity will join the cast of the Sharon D. Clarke and Wendell Pierce led, West-End transfer of Death of a Salesman. According to Deadline, Arthur Miller’s famous play will begin previews on September 19th at the Hudson Theater on Broadway.
In his last entrance as Hermes, Papa Dré walked out to thunderous applause. It went on for a full three and a half minutes. That’s the stuff of legends. Watch De Shields accept the cheering and give the people what they want below: