Dubbed “the last leading man” by The New York Times, Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Stokes”) has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film, and concert appearances with the country’s finest conductors and orchestras.
He received the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony-nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and Ragtime. Other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Shuffle Along. In 2016 he was awarded his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony, for his Charitable work with The Actors Fund. That same year Stokes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
An extremely versatile and in-demand singer, Stokes has performed at venues spanning jazz, opera, pops, country, and musical theater worlds. He has worked with John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Gustavo Dudamel, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Big Band, The Mormon Tabernacle choir and the Muppets. Stokes has made multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall beginning with his debut with the San Francisco Symphony through his televised performance in South Pacific opposite Reba McEntire to his sold-out solo concert, which he continues to perform throughout the U.S. He has been invited twice to perform at the White House (both times aired on PBS’ “Great Performances”) and has performed multiple times for both President Clinton and President Obama.
Stokes has delved deeply into various music disciplines. In addition to singing he began piano studies at the age of 6. A self-professed autodidact, his musical curiosity led him to teach himself composing, arranging and orchestration, starting in his teens. He later studied, Film scoring, orchestration, and conducting both privately and through UCLA and subsequently scored and conducted a number of “Trapper John, MD” episodes, a series on which he was also a regular cast member. His musical talent has extended to the present day as producer, arranger and orchestrator on his three solo albums including recording, “Simply Broadway” and his latest recording “Plays With Music,” now available on Broadway Records. Stokes can be heard on more than 20 albums.
His extensive screen credits began with a guest starring role on “Roots: The next Generations”, followed by a 7-year stint on Trapper John, MD and have continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’ “Great Performances” to “The Fresh Prince,” “Frasier,” “Glee,” “Jumping the Broom” and his most recent recurring roles on “Madam Secretary,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Path,” “Billions” and “The Good Fight.” Other recent television appearances include “The Blacklist,” “Elementary,” and “Bull.” As a voice-over artist he has played dozens of characters on animated television episodes as well as the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes” for Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt film.
As a writer Stokes has contributed to the book Hirschfeld’s Harlem, wrote the preface to At This Theatre, and co-authored the children’s book Lights on Broadway.
For fun he has been known to fly planes and jump out of them (usually not at the same time), and he can ride a bicycle on a high wire.
Stokes has enjoyed working with numerous charitable organizations from the March of Dimes to the USO. He is on the board of Americans For the Arts and is serving his 14th term as Chairman of the Board of the Actors Fund.