Having starred in the short-lived Bronx Bombers, the critical darling After Midnight and the recently opened Holler If Ya Hear Me within the past six months, Broadway veteran Christopher Jackson's career gives new meaning to the term "When it rains, it pours."
"It's been a very full year, filled with a lot of expectations and a lot of really fantastic people," Jackson told Playbill.com. "Sure, there have been disappointments, but at every turn, I've learned more than I could have wished for. I'm grateful."
Mainstream theatre critics may not have fully embraced the Tupac Shakur-inspired musical currently playing at the Palace Theatre, but the Metropolis, IL, native is no stranger to ambitious Broadway productions. In 1997, Jackson made his debut in The Lion King, which at the time was considered Disney's most daring foray on The Great White Way.
Starting off as a member of the ensemble and then moving up to the lead role of Simba, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) alum — hired an hour before the production's first official rehearsal — described the show as a "life-changing event in so many ways."
"Talk about getting shot out of the cannon," he continued. "At the time, I had seen the movie but I didn't really didn't know what I was in for. I don't think anyone did. And the opportunity to work with Tom Schumacher, Julie Taymor and Disney was pretty special. It was historical and continues to be a historical piece of theatre."
In between then and now, Jackson married the love of his life and became the father of two. He also starred in a string of Broadway shows including In The Heights (which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical) and Memphis (winner of the 2010 Tony for Best Musical). In 2012, he joined the company of Jack Viertel's critically-acclaimed jazz era musical revue Cotton Club Parade, which played sold-out shows at City Center before being morphed into a Warren Carlyle-helmed Broadway spectacular rechristened as After Midnight.
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