On the eve of this historic election, Bev’s Girl Films is presenting Yin & Yang, aka Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning Hadestown star André De Shields ( The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz and Play On!) and Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone, Gettin’ The Band Back Together) singing for the soul of America, putting their own spin on the Sam Cooke civil-rights anthem, ‘A Change is Gonna Come,’ accompanied by Steven Cuevas on piano.
De Shields and Kravits’ latest collaboration is a call to exercise your right to vote on November 3rd.
Their first cover was the Sam Cooke R & B classic, “Bring It On Home To Me,” accompanied by Andrew Gutauskas on saxophone which was featured in the 100 Black Men Initiative, “West Side Stories: Celebrating New York in the 1970’s,” and Raising the Curtain: A Tribute to EMF Heroes Featuring Broadway Stars.
When asked what inspired the pair to collaborate virtually on this song, De Shields shared, “my ambition for collaborating with Garth on what will ultimately be a series of duets is to restore joy and love to a world that has lost its way.” Kravits said,”André and I very quickly agreed that the essence of this cover and the others that will follow, would be fun, pure and simple. Just to enjoy singing with one another so that the viewing and listening audience might share in what we’re laying down.”
De Shields has participated in numerous political fundraisers including singing ‘Broadway Baby’ with Jayne Houdyshell, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Sheila Kay Davis, Larry Owens, Layla Capers, Fiona Morgan Quinn, Walter Russell III and Jayden Theopile in Broadway for Biden’s All-Star Virtual Fundraiser: IN OUR AMERICA: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation; and hosting Broadway for Biden: Songs of Pride and PFLAG National’s annual “Moving Equality Forward Virtual Event.
In tonight’s Sing Out For Freedom 2020: An Election Eve Concert in Support of the ACLU & #NYCLU, De Shields, accompanied by Gaelynn Lea on violin, read the final words of Congressman John Lewis as published by The New York Times – “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of the Nation.”
André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty-one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.” De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com
Garth Kravits is an actor, a singer, a composer, and an award winning filmmaker. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone and appeared most recently on Broadway in the original musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together.
Kravits has guest starred on CBS’s ‘Tommy,’ HBO’s ‘Divorce,’ Amazon Prime’s ‘The Hunters’ and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ USA’s ‘Mr. Robot,’ SyFy’s ‘Happy’ over the last year, and has also appeared on NBC’s ’30 Rock,’ and ‘The Blacklist,’ The CW’s ‘Princess Diaries,’ Showtime’s ‘Nurse Jackie,’ and ‘Hostages.’
Kravits has written, directed and edited over 50 film projects and his films have been shown in film festivals around the world. www.garthkravits.com
Steven Cuevas is a NYC-based music director, musician, singer, and actor. Broadway: Once On This Island, Anastasia, Kinky Boots. Off-Broadway: We Are The Tigers, Closer Than Ever, Trip of Love, Songs for a New World, Iron Curtain. Tours:Once On This Island, Kinky Boots, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Spring Awakening, My Fair Lady (Marina Bay Sands, Singapore). Recordings: Once On This Island (2019 Grammy nominee, Best Musical Theater Album), How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Monstersongs. Steven’s arrangements for Broadway Barkada have been performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and the White House. Steven is the Chair of Local 802 AFM’s Diversity Committee. BFA in Musical Theatre, Emerson College. @StevenMCuevas