Sanjaya Malakar Guests with Other "American Idol" Wannabes in Black Nativity

By Ernio Hernandez
November 26, 2007

"American Idol" castoff Sanjaya Malakar returns to the stage as a special singing guest in the Intiman Theatre's production of Black Nativity in Seattle. Two other former "Idol" hopefuls will also appear.

Malakar as well as Karma Johnson (first season) and Leah Vladowski (who competed as Leah LaBelle in 2004) will perform Dec. 2 at the 2 and 7:30 PM shows. Each will take on a solo during the two performances of the Intiman's annual holiday production.

The three singers are alumni of the Total Experience Gospel Choir, which is founded and directed by Pastor Patrinell Wright musical director and arranger as well as a performer in the show since its first production in 1998. Johnson appeared in Black Nativity in 2001, and Vladowski made her debut at age 12 in the first five runs, 1998-2002.

This year's 10th anniversary production of Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play begins Nov. 28 and opens Dec. 1 for a run through Dec. 28.

Directed by Jacqueline Moscou and choreographed by Kabby Mitchell III, Black Nativity is "a celebration of faith, expressed through exuberant performances of song, story and dance, and reaching audiences of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs," according to an announcement.

The first act "retells the Christmas story through the words of the great American poet, Langston Hughes." The second act transforms the theatre "into a joyous nondenominational church presided over by Pastor Patrinell Wright and the Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney."

Tickets to Black Nativity at the Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer Street in Seattle Center, are available by phone at (206) 269-1900 or online at intiman.org .