Aladdin’s James Monroe Iglehart Shares The Three Magical Muses Behind His Genie
April 28th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
When the news broke that Disney was indeed bringing the beloved animated film Aladdin to life on Broadway, a generation leapt to its feet and cheered. Then the next question on everyone’s mind, who could possibly breath new life into Robin Williams’ Genie? Enter James Monroe Iglehart, who gives one of the season’s most talked-about performances as the all-powerful, show-stealing Genie—as his 2014 OCC, Drama Desk and Drama League nominations will attest.
His Genie is our guide and our friend in this magical world of Agrabah; and James stops the show (standing ovation and all) with his big number “Friend Like Me.”
BroadwayBox caught up with charming actor to find out what three inspirations he used to reinvent the role and bring his Genie to shining, shimmering splendor on the Great White Way.
I have a few inspirations actually.See James Monroe Iglehart work his magic in Broadway's Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
My wife, Dawn, first and foremost. I get inspired every day just by her being in my life. She sacrificed and was the breadwinner for a long time before my career really hit its stride!
I'm also inspired by my dreams from my childhood. A lot of what I wanted to do as a kid I have been able to accomplish one way or another.
And this may sound corny but I get inspired by LIFE itself! Nothing is funnier than real folks doing ridiculous things or really amazing things. I see folks on the bus or the ferry and I find new characters or new voices. I love people watching, ‘cause that's where I get some of my best material for mannerisms or inflections for Genie in the show! Life is the best tool and great for inspiration. I will now stop preaching and you can go back to your regularly scheduled program.
PS: Batman, Bugs Bunny, & Goofy, just ‘cause!