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Andre De Shields image by Lia Chang for use by 360 Magazine

Andre De Shields – Sarah Siddons Society

ANDRE DE SHIELDS TO RECEIVE SARAH SIDDONS SOCIETY 66th ANNUAL ACTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Tony Award Winner and multi-Tony nominee André De Shields will be honored by the Sarah Siddons Society when he is presented the organization’s 66th Annual Actor of the Year Award at their benefit on October 25 in Chicago.

The 2021 benefit will include an interview between André De Shields and Chicago Midwest Emmy-Award recipient Ed Tracy, congratulatory messages from influential individuals in his life, musical selections from many of his memorable shows performed by some of Chicago’s most talented rising stars under the musical direction of David Fiorello and the induction of the Sarah Siddons Society 2021 Scholarship Recipients. The event is being produced by Board Member and long-time Chicago event producer Denise McGowan Tracy.

It will be filmed at The Edge Theater in Chicago. Proof of vaccine and masks will be required for this intimate, live filming. The event will be streamed on November 28. For more information visit the Society’s website.

“We feel it is especially meaningful that Chicago’s oldest and most prestigious theater award is going to such a deserving and accomplished actor as André De Shields in the city where he made his professional debut and has given stellar performances with so many legendary theater companies over the years.”  Martin Balogh, President, Sarah Siddons Society.

A showstopper at age 75, André De Shields was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Grammy Awards for his universally praised role as Messenger to the Gods, Hermes, in Hadestown. In an unparalleled career spanning more than half a century, De Shields has distinguished himself as an actor, director, philanthropist and educator. His defining theatrical performances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony Award nomination), Play On! (Tony Award nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and the titular role in The Wiz. Ubuntu!

Since its inception in 1952, the mission of the Society has been to fund scholarships to promising theater arts students at top Chicago area universities including; The Theater Department, Columbia College; The Theatre School at DePaul University; Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Northwestern University School of Communications.

BRANDON JAMES

Chicago native and R&B artist Brandon James is seeking to take his act to the ‘main stage’ this year. Already a well known name within the Chicago metropolitan area, he’s hell-bent on breaking into the mainstream with two new releases.

“The Divine Collection” is his inaugural release on indie label EPR on May 29, 2016. Currently, the album is available for purchase on iTunes.  The album is a compilation of Brandon’s two previous bodies of work.

Listen to The Divine Collection

His second untitled project is scheduled for a September 13, 2017 launch date. To promote his upcoming album, a publicity and radio campaign has been implemented alongside of a regional tour in the fall.

As of late, Brandon has been best-described as an ‘Artist to Watch’ by Ellena Rodriguez, performing at some of Chicago’s most notable venues like House of BluesReggie’s Rock ClubUIC Pavilion (opened up for Earth Wind & Fire) and Joe’s Bar (opened up for Bubba Sparxxx).

Brandon James (born as Brandon Foster) states, “I started doing music as an outlet for my depression early on in life.” Constantly challenging himself to become better at his craft, he has taken voice lessons from Bobbi Wilsyn, Ars Musica and Andrew Walker Schultze. Recently, he has earned a degree in music performance and business from the Columbia College. Forever seeking to share his testimony, he seeks to inspire, touch hearts and provoke thought through his music.

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