The Shows - Shenandoah

Best Actor in a Principal Role - Joseph Jefferson Award

Chicago Tribune by Chris Jones

"Elegantly performed, beautifully sung and tied most remarkably to profound human emotions ... Broadway veteran David Hess, in a reflective, near-perfect performance ... offers a picture of a troubled, powerful man who's not a wimpy liberal, but a man doing the right thing by the young men who rely upon him."

Chicago Sun-Times by Hedy Weiss

"Hess, lean as a hickory stick and easily commanding, is utterly believable whether in a meditative or volatile state."

Windy City Times/Evanston Review by Catey Sullivan

" ... David Hess, whose soaring voice and epic emotional prowess are powering the Civil War epic running through June 24 at the Marriott. Creating a compelling, empathetic character from a man whose refusal to listen to others is aggravating at best and enraging at worst is no easy task. There’s a machismo to Charlie that you want to see cut down to size, a puffed-up sense of his own righteousness that begs to be deflated. Factor in his tacit approval of slavery and you’ve got a leading man with the potential to sour the whole show. To keep that from happening, you need an actor of intensely commanding charisma, somebody who seems as propelled by inner fire as much as deeply rooted flaws. In the case of Charlie Anderson, you also need somebody with a booming, three-octave voice and the stamina to burn up the stage for a solid two-and-a-half hours. Charlie’s rarely out of sight in Shenandoah. Physically, vocally and emotionally, the role is exhausting. Hess pulls it off, with majesty and energy to spare."

Steadstyle Chicago by Joe Stead

"The musical more or less rises or falls on the actor playing Virginia farmer and patriarch Charlie Anderson, and Broadway veteran David Hess is superb. Hess, reminiscent of the late Michael Landon, takes a quieter, more gentle approach to the role. His lovely voice is more tenor than the traditional booming baritone, yet it makes perfect sense within the context of the character. By the end of the show, there is little doubt that Hess is every inch the proud, devoted and conflicted man struggling to weigh his convictions with the realities of protecting his family and land. Hess' renditions of "The Pickers are Coming," "Meditation" and "Papa's Gonna Make it Alright" are tender and beautiful."

Oak Park Newspaper by Tracey Yoshida Gruen

"The widowed Mr. Anderson is played by Broadway veteran actor, David Hess. Throughout the entire musical, Hess impressed audience members with his superior acting and expression of emotions. His strong love for his children is evident in every word he speaks, every melody he sings and his every action. His acting is so real, he truly pulls you into the moment and lets you feel exactly what he is feeling every step of the way."

CenterstageChicago by Colin Douglas

"The power of this production largely relies on Charlie, played by Broadway actor David Hess (see him next in the National Tour of Sweeney Todd) who brings a strong baritone voice and genuinely warm presence to the role of the father." by Tom Williams

"From David Hess's strong vocals as Charlie, Shenandoah is rich musical theatre where empathetic characters struggle to preserve their family's tranquility. This hauntingly beautiful musical is so full of authentic American values that we reflect on their pain and hope we learn from their misery. David Hess' strong performance leads the way."

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