STAGE VIEWS: The Lion King Star Alton Fitzgerald White
By Andrew Gans
September 15, 2012
Playbill.com's series features brief chats with actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they are looking forward to and more. Here, via email, we hear from singing actor Alton Fitzgerald White, who is currently starring as Mufasa in Disney's Tony-winning The Lion King.
What show recently impressed you?
The last show that I saw that impressed me was One Man, Two Guvnors. It was not at all what I expected. I was looking forward to some witty, high-brow, intellectual, British humor, but instead got an evening of fantastic, broad, slapstick comedy with the brilliant, extremely likeable James Corden at the helm! Fun! Fun! Fun!
What production are you most excited to see?
I am most excited to see Once and Kinky Boots. I have never seen the movie version of either and am intrigued by the word of mouth from theatregoers whose opinions I trust and respect. I am also excited to see my friend Billy Porter's return to the Broadway stage in Kinky Boots. Billy and I made our Broadway debuts together many years ago in the original company of Miss Saigon, and I am looking very forward to hearing him and seeing him tear up the stage!
What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
The musical that I have always dreamed of reviving and being a part of is Raisin: The Musical. My dream since high school has been to play the role of Walter Lee! Raisin is the musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, and it won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1973. When I was looking for songs for my first audition at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts, a good friend told me to go to the library and check out the album because she thought that there were some songs in it that would fit my voice. I fell madly in love with Raisin and would play it every morning before I went to school as I got dressed! I checked out Raisin from the library over and over again and wound up keeping that album for almost two years!!! As a matter of fact, I have booked many of my major jobs with my very first audition song, "It's a Deal" from Raisin, and I still sometimes use it in my nightclub act to this day!
What are your current/upcoming projects?
On top of it being my most favorite season, this coming autumn is my most exciting to date! The week of Sept. 16, I will sail and perform Disney classics on my second Disney cruise and promote my new upcoming Disney CD. Oct. 1 is the release date of my already critically acclaimed "Disney: My Way!" CD, full of Disney on Broadway tunes re-imagined with mostly jazz-infused arrangements, produced by the phenomenal Jim Abbott. Thomas Schumacher, The President of Disney Theatrical Group, wrote liner notes that took my breath away! The Record Release Concert will be performed at 54 Below on Monday, Nov. 5 at 9:30 PM, and I will be performing my Annual Holiday Cabaret at The Metropolitan Room on Monday, Dec. 10 at 7 PM. And then, of course, there are my eight-shows a week as King Mufasa in the phenomenon that is The Lion King on Broadway!!! For song samples from my upcoming "Disney: My Way!" CD, please visit my audio page at altonfitzgeraldwhite.com.
Alton Fitzgerald White has appeared on Broadway in The Lion King, The Color Purple, Ragtime, Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Who's Tommy and Miss Saigon. Read more about him in the Playbill Vault.