I like to keep things easy breezy around here on a Friday.
So how about some pretty music for your ears?
Back in June, James and I saw The Lion King on Broadway with Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa. White was a strong performer who embodied the strength and affection that is the core of this character. Despite Mufasa’s unfortunate disappearance in the story, he still manages to live and breathe on the stage in echoes and in Simba (even when he acts like he wants to forget everything).
Mufasa’s character has to make a lasting impression or the full impact of The Lion King cannot be felt, and White totally delivered. Recently, he performed in a concert at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, NY (It’s beautiful if you have a chance to check it out!) and I was alerted that he was releasing an album of Disney tunes.
Disney and Broadway fans, this is a must-buy!
White has compiled a variety of songs in a true salute to Disney Theatrical Productions (arranged by Jim Abbott). Selections from Newsies, Aida, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and even King David — a one-night only show from Alan Menken and Tim Rice that holds the distinction of being the first production to play at the newly renovated New Amsterdam Theatre in the mid-90s.
That was a bold choice because it was so unknown, but it brought the history of Disney’s triumphs in theatre full circle for more.
Backed by a 12-piece orchestra, White’s vocals are so soulful and timeless… you almost forget you are listening to songs that were originated in animated classics or busts at the box office. The tunes are classic, fancy, and make me feel like twirling on a dance floor. (Except I’m too clumsy to do them justice…) I think it’s a true feat to be able to take songs out of a show and give them their own individual identity outside of their home.
Lucky for you, White is sharing samples of his album on his website!
Be sure to check out the full album on iTunes as well.
And if you want to know my favorites? Check out “Radame’s Letter” and “Strangers Like Me”.