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Baltimore native André De Shields on making it to Broadway

Andre De Shields poses in a suit front of a pink background.
Andre de Shields was born and raised in Baltimore. Credit: Lia Chang/Wikimedia Commons

When André De Shields won a Tony award for creating the agile, elegant messenger-god Hermes in the Broadway musical Hadestown, he said he was making good on a decades-old promise to be a native son Baltimore could be proud of.

De Shields was born 75 years ago into a large family, to a mother who yearned to be a dancer and a father who would have loved to be a singer.

He graduated from Baltimore City College before striking out for fame and genius onstage - what he felt was destiny. We hear what mountains he plans to climb next.

Check out the "Hadestown" NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert. Watch his Tony Award acceptance speech here.

Original air date: November 23, 2021.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.